Award Name : Jnanpith Award
Year of Award : 1976
Award for : Literature
Location : Kolkata, Bengal, India
Ashapurna Devi is a prominent novelist and poet of Bengali literature. Ashapurna Devi, the writer who confined herself within the four walls of her home, would have turned a hundred January 2009. He was born in 8th January, 1909, in North Kolkata at her maternal uncle's place. She is one of the legendary personalities of Bengali literature. Ashapurna Devi began writing at a very young age. She and her sisters used to compete by writing and composing new poems. This factor inspired her to send a poem to the then editor of a popular children's journal "Sishu Sathi". Her first poem got published when she was just 13 years old. The name of her first poem was "Bairer Dak". The editor requested her to send more stories and poems. It was the beginning of her never-ending career of Ashapurna Devi in the sphere of literature. In the initial stages she wrote only for the kids. In the 1936, her first adult story "Patni O Preyoshi" was published in the special issue of 'Anandabazar Patrika', the leading daily of West Bengal. Ashapurna Devi's first adult novel was "Prem O Prayojan". "Pratham Pratisthuti", "Swanlatha" and "Bukul Katha" comprise her popular trilogy.
In 1976 she received Jnanpith award for Pratham Pratisruti. She has also received Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1976. Universities of Jabalpur, Rabindra Bharati, Burdwan and Jadavpur had honoured her with doctorates and Vishwa Bharati University honoured her with Deshikottama in 1989. Sahitya Akademi conferred its highest honour, the Fellowship, in 1994. She has received many accolades for her contributions to Bengali literature. Lila Prize from the University of Calcutta (1954), Bhutan Mohini Dasi Gold Medal (1966), Haranath Ghosh Medal from the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad (1988), Jagattarini Gold Medal from the University of Calcutta (1993) and Raindrop Memorial Prize from the Government of West Bengal (1966) are a few such.