Award Name : Jnanpith Award
Year of Award : 1981
Award for : Literature
Location : Farrukhābād, Uttar Pradesh, India
Mahadevi Varma was a great poet, freedom fighter and woman's activist. She was widely regarded as modern Meera - A poet from Chhayavaad generation that fully belongs to love and romance. She is regarded one among the four poets of Chhayavaad generation, the other poets being Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', Jaishankar Prasad and Sumitranandan Pant. She was a prominent poet in Hindi Kavi sammelans and her works are regarded as outstanding. In 1982 she received Jnanpith award for her literary piece – Yama. She has also received Padma Bhushan in 1956, Padma Vibhushan in 1988 and Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 1979. Mahadevi was born in Farrukhabad on 26 March 1907. She was born in a family of lawyers. She was the eldest child of Govind prasad and Hem rani. She stayed with her parents and completed her BA and MA courses. When her husband’s death happened in 1966, she moved to Allahabad and later became the first head mistress of Mahila Vidyapeeth, Allahabad. Later, she became the chancellor of the institute.
Her most popular poem ‘Mere Bachpan Ke Din’ was written in her childhood days. The poem tells about her sweet memories of childhood. Her mother was her true inspiration to write poems from early childhood. During her academic years, she once stayed in a convent where she got opportunity to meet people belonging to all religious categories. She used to secretly write poems during this time. It was her senior Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, a poetess who exposed her to outer world. She and Subhrada also used to send poems to publications and used to appear in Kavi sammelans. Her leading poetry collections include - Neehar (1930), Rashmi (1932), Neeraja (1934), Deepshikha (1939), Agnirekha (1990) and Sandhyageet. Agnirekha was published after her death. She has also been honored with “Proud Past Alumni" in the list of 42 members, from "Allahabad University Alumni Association" in 2007-2008 Chapter.