Noted poets Girdhar Rathi and Arjun Deo Charan have been awarded the Bihari Puraskar for 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Rathi has been awarded for his collection of Hindi poems 'Ant Ke Sanshay', while Charan has been honoured for his collection of Rajasthani poems 'Ghar Ek Naam Hai Bharosai Rau'.
Assembly speaker Deependra Singh Shekhawat, who was the chief guest, conferred the awards. He wished that Rajasthani language would soon get constitutional status.
Dispelling notions of gloom among writers and poets, Shekhawat extolled the power of the pen.
Shobhana Bhartia, president of the KK Birla Foundation, said by instituting the Bihari Puraskar the foundation had nurtured the literary tradition of Rajasthan. "My father, KK Birla, had always wanted to see the people, literature and culture of the state flourish."
Felicitating the awardees, she said Rathi is an established poet, translator and human rights activist. His works do not drift from contemporary reality. They offer people's consciousness "a new dimension".
Dr Charan, she said, had many shades to his personality, being a poet, playwright and an academic. She hoped the award would encourage other Rajasthani writers to come forward.
The Bihari Puraskar was instituted by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991. It is awarded for outstanding works in Hindi and Rajasthani. The award carries a prize of Rs. 1 lakh, a citation and a plaque.