Author Madhu Kankariya and Dr. Madhav Hada on Wednesday were awarded the 31st and 32nd Bihari Puraskar, Respectively.

The Bihari Puraskar is one of the three literary awards instituted by KK Birla Foundation in 1991. Named after the famous poet Bihari, the award for Rajasthani authors carries a cash prize of ₹2.5 lakh, a plaque and a citation.

Kankariya was awarded the Puraskar for her 2018 novel ‘Hum Yahan The’ while Hada was awarded for his 2015 literary criticism book ‘Pachrang Chola Pahar Sakhi Ri’.

The awards to the writers were given by Indravardhan Trivedi, vice-chancellor of Mohan Lal Sukhadia University in Udaipur during a program at the university premises.

The Bihari Puraskar is given every year for an outstanding work published in the last 10 years by a Rajasthani author in Hindi or Rajasthani. The recipient is chosen by a selection committee headed by chairman Hemant Shesh.

Kankariya, who was awarded Bihari Puraskar 2021, has written several prose, poems and books. Her novel, ‘Hum Yahan The’, is based on the struggles of the tribals in Jharkhand. It also provides an insight into the culture, society and economic conditions of Kolkata.

“An honest kalam (pen) stands firm against injustices and lies and gives the common man a dream of a better life. It is the writer who makes you realise how deep is the relationship between dharti (earth) and yoni (human),” Kankariya said.

Among books written by the 65-year-old are Pattakhor, Khule Gagan ke Laal Sitaare, Salaam Aakhri and Bhaari Dupahr ke Andhere.

“She (Kankariya) wrote on the struggles and problems faced by tribals in Jharkhand. I am also witness to the same, especially in tribal areas where the struggle of women is comparatively more,” Trivedi told the gathering at the function.

In the past, Kankariya has been conferred with the Kathakram Puruskar, Hemchandra Smriti Sahitya Samman, Vijay Verma Katha Samman and Pratham Vidya Sahitya Samman.

Hada, a literary critic and academic, was awarded Bihari Puraskar 2022 for his extensive work in literature, media, culture and history. He has also been a member of the general council of the Sahitya Akademi and the Hindi Advisory Board.

Speaking about his work, Hada said everyone is familiar with Meera from an early age. “I did not study Meera with any set mind frame but felt that her experience should be understood,” he said.

Trivedi spoke about Hada’s “remarkable” tenure as Hindi professor in the university.

Foundation’s director Suresh Rituparna said: “In 1991, the awards were started, and in the last 32 years, many prominent people have been awarded. The awards are recognised in and outside the state.”

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