A special felicitation would be accorded to Prof. Ray, says festival society secretary Ashok Kumar

Pratibha Ray, the Odiya woman to win the 2011 Jnanpith award, will inaugurate the 24 Vijayawada Book Festival on Tuesday. Prof. Ray is the fourth Odiya writer and the seventh woman to get the coveted award. She is already the recipient of the Moorthi Devi and Sarala awards.

Vijayawada Book Festival Society secretary D. Ashok Kumar said that the festival committee was very happy because the announcement about Prof. Ray getting the Jnanpith award was made after the invitations were printed. In the book festival invitation Prof. Ray was referred to as just Moorthi Devi Award winner. She was the second Jnanpith Award winner after C. Narayana Reddy to inaugurate the book festival. A special felicitation would be accorded to Prof. Ray. Mr. Ashok Kumar said that as part of a programme to promote national integration the Vijayawada Book Festival has been taking the languages of other States as theme. In association with the Central Sahitya Akademi it began with the theme “Integration through translation” in 2009. After that it took up as themes Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. The theme this year was Odiya, he said.

Prof. Ray would inaugurate the book festival by lighting the lamp and on January 6. The Central Sahitya Akademi Regional Office, Bangalore, will be conducting a Telugu-Odiya Writers’ Meet. On the next day (January 7) the National Book Trust would be conducting a discussion on “Telugu-Oriya -- lmitations and possibilities.

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