Sugathakumari, poet, told The Hindu here on Monday that the Saraswati Samman is an honour for Malayalam language.

“My work was selected from among other works in 22 languages. I was also informed that I won it with a good majority. It is definitely a great honour for Malayalam language, and I am elated by such a recognition,” the poet, who won the award for her collection of poetry titled ‘Manalezhuthu,’ published in 2006, said.

However, Ms. Sugathakumari said, even when the world and people of other States understood the importance of Malayalam, the people of Kerala were not willing to promote the language.

“Today, we have to protest for our language to make our own people understand the importance of our language. This award for Malayalam language, which is being neglected in the present scenario, definitely gives me great joy,” she said.

The award was also significant because it came at a time when protests were being held for the cause of the language, she said, referring to the indefinite hunger strike by writer K.P. Ramanunni demanding a comprehensive law to make Malayalam the first language of study and governance.

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