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Sarala Das is the first Odia poet. Because of his contributions to Odia language and literature he is regarded as the father of Odia literature. He is a rare literary genius of the world. To preserve the memory of this great poet, Sarala Sahitya Sansad has been established at Cuttack which is the centre of Odia literature and culture. 

The idea for establishing this literary organization was conceived in December 1981 by Er. Pravakar Swain. He was encouraged in his mission by Prof. Dr. Nirad Kumar Gochayat, Professor Prafulla Kumar Pati and the eminent litterateur Padmabhusan Dr. Kalindi Charan Panigrahi. Pravakar Swain’s brain-child, Sarala Sahitya Sansad saw the light of the day in January 1982. On the same day the office bearers of the Sansad were unanimously elected. Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, Pravakar Swain, Ashok Kumar Mohapatra, Dr. Nirad Kumar Gochhayat became the President, Secretary, working President and Treasurer respectively. Professor Prafulla Kumar Pati acted as advisor of the Sansad. In the first meeting of the office bearers, a decision was taken to observe Sarala Das’s death anniversary on the sacred Magha Saptami day in Cuttack city. 

That year (1982) the lunar day of magha saptami fell on 29th January. On this day the death anniversary was observed at Sri Ramachandra Bhawan, Dr. Radhanath Rath, noted social worker and the then editor of the Odia daily, The Samaj gave his blessings at the ceremony. Kalindi Charan Panigrahi presided over the meeting. Basudev Mohapatra, a Minister in the Odisha Cabinet, Dr. Bansidhar Mohanty, Professor and Head of Odia Department of Utkal University and Prof. Pathani Pattnayak spoke about Sarala Das and discussed some aspects of Sarala literature, Prafulla Kar, a famous singer of Odisha sang songs. That day Sri Ramachandra Bhawan was thronged by admires of Sarala Das and Sarala literature. 

Sarala Sahitya Sansad was registered under Society Registration Act, 1860 in the year 1982. Gradually it grew into a premier literary organization of India. In the second year of its birth a collection of essays entitled “Sarala Sahitya Samiksha” was published. It was released at the second annual function of the organization in 1983. Within the last thirty three years a number of books have been published by Sarala Sahitya Sansad. These publications are; Sarala Sahitya Samiksha, Sarala Mahabharat: Charitrara Chitrasala, Mahabharatara Pattabhumi, Vyasadeb O Sarala Das, Sarala Mahabharatara Akhyan, Sarala Kathatillola, Sarala Srustira Diga Diganta, Katha Vagabat, Katha Ramayan, Utkalara Kabi Jayadev, Jugapurusha Fakir Mohan, Achyutananda Katha Sarita, Sarala Katha Bitan, Gangadhar Kavya Manas, Nrusimha Katha Sambhar, Sarala Katha Pratibha, Saraswata Purusha Madhusudan, Nandakishore Sahitya Chintana, Surya Katha Bharati, Siva Katha Kalpana, Santhakavi Bhimabhoi, Brahmavaibartha Vaswar, Monasinha Manasa Mukura, Brahmapurani-Kathasagar, Kavibar Kavya Samiksha, Kavi Manishi Pandit Godabarishi Katha Kahani, Abhimanyu Kavyacharya, Srustira Darpanare Kalindi Charana, Sampratika Kavi O Kavita (part-I & II), Kavya Saraswati Sachi Rautray, Sampratika Odia Sahitya and Srujana Silpi, Kavya Silpi Upendra Bhanja, Katha Silpi Kanhu Charan, Gopinath Mohanty: Shrasta Manas and Surendra Mohanty: Shrusti Samikshya, Satabdi Sadhak Nityananda Mohapatra, Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo: Shrusti Manas, Utkal Bharati Kuntala Kumari etc. Besides Sarala Sahitya Sansad has published Sarala Das’s best creation ‘Sarala Mahabharat’ edited by Prof. Arta Ballav Mohanty in the year 2007. It may be noted here that this voluminous epic published by Govt. of Odisha in the year 1965 was not available in full set since a long period. 

For the propagation of Sarala literature at national and international level Sarala Sahitya Samsad has published ‘Sarala Das Kathasagar’ in Hindi and ‘stories from Sarala Mahabharat’ in English. The latter was highly appreciated by Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, former President of India. 

This organization has organized many seminars, symposia and literary meetings. National Seminars on Sarala literature have been held at Simla, Kolkata and Shantiniketan, etc. Sarala Sahitya Sansad and Central Sahitya Akademi (National Akademi of letters, New Delhi) have jointly organized a national seminar on Santha Sahitya at Bhubaneswar and another on the Odia Short Story Writer. Bamacharan Mitra at Sri Ramachandra Bhawan in Cuttack. Under the auspices of both Sarala Sahitya Sansad and Central Sahitya Akademi, a state level literary meet of women writers was held on 24th and 25th December, 2002 at Sarala Bhawan, Cuttack. Under the aegis of Central Sahitya Akademi, a national seminar on ‘Sarala Das and Bhakti Tradition’ was held on 22nd and 23rd 2005, at Ravindra Bhawan, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, Eminent scholars and literateures from different states representing different regional literatures of India had participated in the seminar and expressed the view that Sarala Mahabharat is a unique literary creation of the world. Sarala Sahitya Sansad and Central Sahitya Akademi jointly organized a seminar at Sarala Bhawan, Cuttack on Kanhu Charan Mohanty on the occasion of his birth centenary on 9-10, September, 2006. Besides Sarala Sahitya Sansad in collaboration with National Book Trust of India organized a seminar on childrens’ literature in 2007. 

In the memory of Sarala Das, Sarala Sahitya Sansad is giving awards to eminent Odia litterateurs since 1983. During the first five years, beginning from 1983 to 1987, the awards were given only to the researchers of Sarala literature. Later, when researchers in the field were not available, a decision was taken to award eminent Odia litterateurs. This award is given every year at the Annual Function of the Sansad. At the beginning the amount of award money was Rs.2000/-. Gradually the amount has increased and now it is Rs.50,000/-. This has been made possible due to the efforts and enthusiasm of Er. Pravakar Swain. 

This literary award, ‘Sarala Samman’ is considered as a prestigious award in the State of Odisha. Previously this award was not given to literateurs who had received national awards such as Janapitha, Saraswati, Murti Devi and Central Sahitya Akademi Awards. In the Silver Jubilee year of the Sansad (2006), the previous decision has been changed and all literateurs of Odia language are being considered for the conferment of the award. 

The scholars and literateurs who have been honoured with Sarala Samman till date are: Dr. Krushna Chandra Panigrahi, Sri Surendranath Mohanty, Dr. Bansidhar Mohanty, Dr. Krushna Chandra Sahu, Dr. Dinabandhu Rath, Dr. Kunja Bihari Tripathy, Dr. Satya Narayan Rajguru, Prof. Bhubaneswar behera, Phaturananda, Smt. Brahmotri Mohanty, Sri Rajkishor Ray, Prof. Pathani Pattnayak, Prof. (Dr.) Janaki Ballav Mohanty (Bharadwaj), Prof. Chintamani Behera, Prof. Gangadhar bal, Sri Achyutananda Pati, Sri Sahadeva Sahu, Sri Srinibas Udgata, Dr. Bichitrananda Mohanty and Dr. Hemanta Kumar Das (Joint Awardees), Sri Satakadi Hota, Sri Bipin Bihiri Mishra, Sri Manoj Das, Dr. Sitakanta Mohapatra, Sri Jadunath Dasmohapatra, Dr. Dasarathi Das, Prof. Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo, Jayanta Mohapatra, Padmabhusan Ramakanta Rath and Ms. Manorama Mohapatra. 

Besides, the Sansad has instituted an award called Kalinga Ratna since 2007 which is given every year to an worthy person of Odisha having outstanding contribution in any field in national/international level. The recipients of this award are former Chief Justice of India, Justice Sri Ranganath Mishra, former Speaker, Lok Sabha, Sri Rabi Ray, former Judge of Supreme Court of India, Justice Sri Arijit Pasayat, Sri Ramakanta Rath, former President, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, eminent social activist Padmashree Ms. Tulasi Munda and Padmabibhusan Dr. Sitakanta Mohapatra. 

Sarala Sahitya Sansad observes the birth anniversary of many eminent literateurs. The birth centenary of Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, the first President of the Sansad was organized by the Sansad. Besides his birth anniversary is celebrated every year since the year 2000. The birth anniversary of the poet, Padmashree Satchidananda Rautray is being observed since 2001. The Sansad had conferred the title Kavya Saraswati on Sri Rautaray on 2nd September, 2003. The birth anniversary of Pandit Godabarish Mishra is being celebrated since 2003. On that occasion an eminent litterateur of Odisha is being honoured with Pandit Godabarish Mishra Samman. The poet Saroj Ranjan Mohanty, Prof. Nityananda Satapathy, Prof. Krushna Charan Behera, Prof. Niladri Bhusan Harichandan, Prof. Biswaranjan,  Prof. Rajat Kumar Kar, Dr. Upendra Prasad Nayak and Dr. Guru Prasad Mohanty have received this award. From 2004 Sarala Sahitya Sansad has been celebrating the birth anniversary of poet Dr. Mayadhar Mansingh and honouring a famous man of literateure with ‘Mansingh Samman’ on the day of celebration. So far Prof. Hrudananda Ray and Poet Dr. Jayanta Mohapatra, Prof. Prafulla Kumar Mohanty, Ms. Sujata Priyambada, Padmashree Prof. Debi Prasanna Pattanayak, Prof. Bairagi Charan Jena, Prof. N.B. Harichandan, Dr. Babaji Ch. Pattanayak, Prof. Baishnab Ch. Samal & Prof. Manornjan Pradhan have received this honour. Sri Jayanta Mohapatra has been given the title, ‘Kavi Bharati’ along with Mansingh Samman. On 8th February, 2005, the Sansad had organized a one day state level writers’ conference. On that day Smt. Manorama Mohapatra, noted poet and formerly editor of the Samaj was adorned with the title of honour, Kavi Ratna. 

The Silver Jubilee function of Sarala Sahitya Sansad was inaugurated on 20th April, 2005 at Rourkela by Prof. Dr. Prafulla Kumar Pati. As part of the Silver Jubilee function a literary meeting was held on 4th August, 2005 at Sambalpur, the centre of Western Odisha. Similarly, another meeting was organized on 4th November, 2005 at Berhampur, the centre of Southern Odisha. While celebrating the silver jubilee at different places of the state, several men of letters have been honoured with Rajata Jayanti Samman. Dr. Natabar Satapathy and Sri Kabibar Parida have been honoured at Rourkela, Sri Umasankar Panda and Sri Hussain Rabi Gandhi at Sambalpur and Prof. Benimadhab Padhi and Prof. Sudarshan Acharya have been honoured at Berhampur. The closing ceremony of the Silver Jubilee was held on 6th February, 2006 at Sarala Bhawan, Cuttack, Padmashree Manoj Das, a great writer of fame was awarded Sarala Samman on this day. 

The Sarala Sahitya Sansad is organizing book release ceremonies from time to time. It has organized book release ceremonies of Uttarakasha, the autobiography of Sachi Routray, Magnamati of Ms. Pratibha Ray, Bigata Sahasrabdi of Sri Bipin Bihari Mishra and several newly published books of established writers. 

Sarala Sahitya Sansad celebrated the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swabhabkabi Gangadhar Meher on 16th August, 2012 and eminent poet Harishankar Badapanda was awarded on this occasion. The birth centenary of famous poet Ananta Patnayak was celebrated on 23rd September, 2012 and poet Rabi Singh was awarded on this occasion. The birth centenary of eminent poet Radha Mohan Gad Nayak was celebrated on 25th September, 2012 and poet Prasanna Mishra was awarded on this occasion. The birth centenary of renowned fiction writer Rajakishore Ray was celebrated on 19th January, 2014 and Sri Santanu Kumar Acharya was awarded on this occasion. The birth centenary of writer Viswanath Pasayat was celebrated on 22nd August, 2014 and fiction writer Sri Debraj Lenka was awarded on this occasion. 

Sarala Sahitya Sansad has invited many personalities of letters in different occasions, amongst which Dr. Birendra Kumar Bhatacharya, Jnanapitha Award winner & the then President, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, Prof. (Dr.) Indranath Choudhury, the then Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, Prof. (Dr.) Namwar Singh, noted Hindi writer, Prof. Ashish Sanyal, noted Bengali writer, Dr. Biswambar Nath Pande, the then Governor, Odisha, Sri Chintamani Panigrahi, the then Governor, Manipur, Dr. Harekrushna Mahatab, Formerly Governor, Bombay & Chief Minister, Odisha, Dr. Radhanath Rath, the then President, Lok Savak Mandal, Sri Rabi Ray, the then Speaker, Lok Sabha, Prof. (Dr.) Manmanath Das, noted Historian, Dr. Debiprasanna Pattnayak, noted writer & former Director, Language Institute, Maysore, Padmashree Dr. Sachi Routaray, Jnanapitha award winner noted Odia poet, Sri Subhas Mukhopadhaya, Jnanapitha award winner Bengali poet, Prof. (Dr.) Siba Prasad Singh, noted Hindi writer, Prof. Balsouri Reddy, noted Telgu writer, Dr. R. Panduranga Rao, noted writer, Smt. Nabanita Debasen, noted Bengli writer, Sj. Janaki Ballav Pattnaik, the then Chief Minister, Odisha, Dr. Ganga Prasad Bimal, the then Director, Hindi Language Institute, Sri Ramakanta Rath, the then President, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, PadmaBibhusan Dr. Sitakanta Mohapatra, noted Odia writer, Dr. Soubhagya Kumar Mishra, noted Odia poet, Prof. Pravakar Sotriya, noted Hindi writer, Prof. (Dr.) Harish Chandra Mihsra, noted Hindi writer, Prof. Dr. Amiya Deb, Vice-Chancellor, Vidyasagar University, Sri Manoj Das, noted Odia & English writer, Sri Mohaptra Nilamani Sahoo, noted Odia writer, Sri Nabin Pattnaik, Chief Minister, Odisha, Prof. C. Narayan Reddy, Jnanapitha award winner Telgu writer, Prof. Laxmi Narayan Mishra, Vice Chancellor, Utkal University, Sri Jayant Mohapatra, noted English poet, Sri Rameswar Thakur, the then Governor of Odisha and Sri Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, Governor, Odisha are mention worthy. 

It may be mentioned here that Sarala Sahitya Sansad has achieved the distinction of being a recognized literary organization of Central Sahitya Akademi in the year 1991. 

From the beginning of the institution in 1982 till 1988, Kalindi Charan Panigrahi was it’s President when he expressed his desire to opt out because of illness, Basanta Biswal, the then working President of Prajatantra Prachar Samiti was nominated President of the Sansad. From 2nd November, 2003 Sri Sahadeva Sahu is functioning as the President of the Sansad. With the untiring efforts of Er. Pravakar Swain, the founder, the institution has grown to its present State. 

From the very beginning, Er. Pravakr Swain, the founder of the Sansad, was desirous of building a house for the Sansad at Cuttack. Due to the dedicated efforts of Er. Pravakar Swain, Secretary of the organization, the good will and help of the then Deputy Chief Minister, Sri Basanta Kumar Biswal and Sri Sahadeva Sahu, the then Principal Secretary to Govt., Revenue Department, about half an acre of Government land was made available to the Sansad in 1996. The Government also gave some financial help. The foundation stone of the Sarala Bhawan was laid on 27th January, 1996. The structure of the three storied building was built with the fund provided by Odisha Government. Due to resource crunch the construction work was postponed from 18th March, 2000 for a period of 18 months. The office bearers of the Sansad Sri Sahadeva Sahu, Er. Pravakar Swain, Sri Gagan Chandra Das and Dr. Niranjan Tripathy made generous contributions to the building fund and some more funds were collected from some other literature loving people. With the funds thus raised construction work began and ground floor was completed in February 2002. It was inaugurated on 20th February, 2002. With the help from MPLAD Fund of Hon’ble Justice Sri Ranganath Mishra the first floor of the building was completed and dedicated to the people on 10th February, 2003. Again with his MPLAD fund the construction work of the second floor was completed, the same was inaugurated in March, 2004. With the financial help provided by some generous people and industrial houses the acoustics work of Sarala Bhawan was made in 2006. From MPLAD fund of Sri Rama Chandra Khuntia, the major construction of Sarala Bhawan including stage of the auditorium have been completed. Among other Parliament Members Sri P.M. Mohapatra, Sri Baijayanta Panda, Sri Sashi Bhusan Behera, Sri B.C. Parida, Sri Dillip Ray and Sri Bhartuhari Mahatab have provided fund out of MPLAD for different construction works of Sarala Bhawan. 

Sarala Sahitya Sansad is having a library and reading room in Sarala Bhawan. It is in the way of having a very good museum. 
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