Award Name : Jnanpith Award
Year of Award : 2011
Award for : Literature
Location : Jagatsinghapur, Orissa, India
Pratibha Ray is an Indian academic and writer. She was born on 21 January 1943, at Alabol, a remote village in the Balikuda area of Jagatsinghpur district formerly part of Cuttack district of Odisha state. She was the first woman to win the Moortidevi Award in 1991. She started her professional career as a school teacher, and later she taught in various Government Colleges in Odisha for thirty years. She has guided doctoral research and has published many research articles. She took voluntary retirement as a Professor of Education from State Government Service and joined as Member, Public Service Commission of Odisha.
Pratibha Ray is a Jnanpith Award winning writer of Orissa. She got this highest literal prize of literature in the year 2011. She is an eminent fiction writer in contemporary India and her works mostly belong to novels and short stories. Her first novel Barsha Basanta Baishakha (1974) was a best seller and her best works are Sheelapadma, Yajnaseni and Ullaghna. She was the first woman to win the Moortidevi Award in 1991. She wrote on subjects including caste and sex discrimination and hence often framed as a feminist by critics. She actively participated in social reforms as well as caste discrimination in temples and public places.
She has also written 3 travelogues - Maitri Padapara Shakha Prashakha (USSR), 1990, Dura Dwividha (UK, France), 1999 and Aparadhira Sweda (Australia), 2000. A few of her short stories are Samanya Kathana, Haripatra, Itibut, Chandrabhaga O Chandrakala, Moksha, Shrestha Galpa, Gangashiuli, Asamapta, Aikatana, Jhoti-paka-Kantha and Anabana. She received her first award in the year 1985 for the book, Sheelapadma (Orissa Sahitya Academi Award). Later she received many awards of which, Sarala Award' (1990) and 'Moortidevi Award (1991) for her novel 'Yajnaseni', Sahitya Akademi Award for her Short-Story Collection 'Ullaghna’ in 2000 and 'Amrita Keerti Puraskar in 2006 need special mention. She also received 'Padma Shri Award' in Literature and Education by the Government of India in the year 2007.