During the Sikkim Sahitya Utsav 2021, held at Manan Kendra here on Friday, six literary figures from Sikkim and the Darjeeling hills were honoured.
Rajendra Bhandari, Chetan Raj Shrestha, Gupta Pradhan, K.N. Sharma, Binashree Kharel, and Sashi Sherpa were among the honoured litterateurs.
The citations were presented to the honoured writers and poets by Chief Minister P.S. Golay.
Rachna Books, Gangtok, was also recognised for its long-standing commitment to literature and the promotion of reading habits. Rachna Books’ citation was accepted on behalf of editor-cum-translator Anurag Basnet.
The Sikkim Sahitya Utsav was held to commemorate Hamro Varta Television’s second anniversary. The event was attended by literary figures from Sikkim, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, and Nepal, as well as a large number of students.
The Chief Minister announced APATAN fellowship programmes for students interested in pursuing a PhD in any Sikkimese language or literature while speaking to the crowd. The government, he said, will cover the entire cost of the PhD studies.
The State government, according to the Chief Minister, will support Sikkim Akademi in its efforts to promote and preserve Sikkimese language, literature, culture, and tradition. He stated that the state government will work to include Bhutia, Lepcha, and Limboo languages in the Indian Constitution’s 8th Schedule. We’ll be giving out state awards in these languages to encourage people to read, write, and work to improve their languages, he said.
Golay announced that Sikkim will host a literary festival every year, inviting litterateurs from various communities in Sikkim and neighbouring regions to share their works. He stated that the State government is always willing to help Sikkimese poets and writers who want to write but are unable to publish their works.
The Chief Minister congratulated Hamro Varta Television on its two-year anniversary and praised the media house for hosting a literary event featuring renowned poets and authors. He reflected on the importance of reading books and newspapers during his college years. He emphasised the value of promoting one’s own language and culture.
Nawaraj Parajuli from Nepal, Pavitra Lama from Darjeeling, Manoj Bogati from Kalimpong, and Pravin Rai ‘Jumeli’ from Kalimpong all gave mesmerising performances and poet recitations at the event.
Dr. Dev Chandra Subba and author Chetan Raj Shrestha also gave talks on Nepali and English literature.
The winners of the Sikkim Sahitya Utsav 2021’s poetry, book review, elocution, and painting competitions for students and the open category were awarded cash prizes at the event.
Earlier, Lok Sabha MP Indra Hang Subba, who is also the organising committee’s chief patron, and Chief Minister’s political secretary Jacob Khaling, who is also the organising committee’s patron, spoke at the event.
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