Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 17:
Eminent poet Padmabhushan Ramakanta Rath on Sunday was all praise for ‘Sambad Sahitya Ghara’, a novel concept for compilation, dissemination and preservation of Odia literature, describing it as ‘unique and praiseworthy’.
Inaugurating the state level conference of Sambad Sahitya Ghara at Hotel Swosti Premium here, Rath lamented that the younger generation is showing little interest in reading Odia books despite the substantial increase in the literacy rate of Odisha and the number of publications in recent years.
“These days, people take what they see with their naked eyes for real, little realising that it is a transient reality,” he said. “The readers will understand the importance of writing only when they understand the character in the book,” he observed.
Since most of the people are unaware of the publication of new books, efforts should be made by Odia newspapers to give a brief outline of these books at a nominal advertisement cost, the poet best known for ‘Sriradha’ noted.
In his welcome address, Editor of Sambad Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said the existence of magazines is impossible without the survival of literature.
“The concept of Sahitya Ghara was born out of the realisation that Odia language and literature are going to face a grave crisis in the coming days,” he said.
The rapid advancement in science and technology has led people to dispense with the niceties of words, grammar and syntax and express themselves in corrupted and broken down syllables instead, the Sambad Editor said.
“In pursuit of money and success, man is gradually losing the good old habit of interacting with fellow human beings. At this critical juncture, the media has to play a stellar role for the survival of Odia language and literature,” he observed.
For popularization of Odia literature, Sambad has decided to set up Sahitya Ghara in each village and panchayat, Patnaik informed.
Earlier, state convener of Sahitya Ghara Subhashree Lenka read out the annual report of Sahitya Ghara. She said while Sahitya Gharas have been set up in 133 blocks and civic bodies, efforts are on to set up such centres in the remaining blocks and civic body localities of the state very soon.
The second session of the conference, presided over by the Sambad editor, discussed the proposals of Asit Mohanty, Chief Editor of Ama Odisha and Jitendra Narayan Das (Das Benhur), Editor of Pilanka Sambad, which were seconded by Swaraj Mishra, Editor of Ama Odisha and Gourahari Das, novelist and Editor of Katha.
Proposals were approved on emphasising the use of Odia language in official correspondence, the requirement of the readers, availability of all books at Sahitya Gharas, writing of applications, letters and departmental work in Odia language, encouragement of Odia officials for use of Odia language, investigation on reduction in the number of Odia books and conduct of Sahitya Sammilani in remote areas.