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Sahitya Akademi has been giving annual awards to books of outstanding merit and annual prizes for outstanding translations in the 24 languages recognised by it. However, the Akademi felt that in a multilingual country like India that has hundreds of languages and dialects, Akademi's activities should be extended beyond the recognised ones by acknowledging and promoting literary creativity as well as academic research in non-recognised languages. The Akademi, therefore, instituted Bhasha Samman in 1996 to be given to writers, scholars, editors, collectors, performers or translators who have made considerable contribution to the propagation, modernization or enrichment of the languages concerned. The Samman carries a plaque alongwith an amount equal to its awards for creative literature, i.e. rupees 1,00,000 (Rs.25,000 at the time of inception, increased to Rs.40,000 from 2001, Rs.50,000 from 2003 and to Rs. 1,00,000 from 2009), which is the first step towards the realization of this goal. The Sammans are given to 3-4 persons every year in different languages on the basis of recommendation of experts' committees constituted for the purpose.


History of Bhasha Sammans


The first Bhasha Sammans were awarded in to Sri Dharikshan Mishra for Bhojpuri, Sri Bansi Ram Sharma and Sri M.R. Thakur for Pahari (Himachali), Sri K. Jathappa Rai and Sri Mandara Keshava Bhat for Tulu and Sri Chandra Kanta Mura Singh for Kokborok; for their contribution to the development of their respective languages.


In the Akademi felt that while it was necessary to continue to encourage writers and scholars in languages not formally recognised by the Akademi, it was necessary to extend the scope of this Samman to include scholars who have done valuable work in the field of classical and medieval literature. This being an invaluable heritage of the nation, those who have endeavoured to keep this heritage alive and acquaint succeeding generations with it deserved recognition. It was, therefore, decided that while two sammans may continue to be given for contribution to unrecognized languages two may be earmarked for scholars in the field of classical and medieval literature. This being an invaluable heritage of the nation, those who have endeavoured to keep this heritage alive and acquaint succeeding generations with it deserved recognition. It was, therefore, decided that while two sammans may continue to be given for contribution to unrecognized languages two may be earmarked for scholars in the field of classical and medieval literature.


Selection of Akademi Awards


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Last Updated : 23.06.2017