Writer-novelist Shailender Singh was given away the first Prof Ram Nath Shastri Memorial Award on the birth centenary celebration function of Padmashri Prof Ram Nath Shastri organised by Dogri Sanstha in collaboration with J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages.
Shaileder Singh was awarded for his first novel ‘Hashiye Par’ published in 2009. The award carries `21,000 cash, a shawl and a memento. The celebrations were held at KL Sehgal Hall, where a galaxy of writers, intellectuals, Prof Shastri’s associates and relatives, and prominent citizens were present.
On the occasion, a book by J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages ‘Prof Ram Nath Shastri - Samagra Rachanavali’ - based on the life and complete works of Prof Shastri and musical renderings of his poetry by Brij Mohan - was unveiled.
Prof Ved Ghai was the chief guest on the occasion, whereas Prof Nilamber Dev Sharma presided over the function. Rangeele Thakur, director, All India Radio, Jammu, was the guest of honour.
Prof Ram Nath Shastri Memorial Award has been instituted by Dogri Sanstha and is sponsored by the family members of Shastriji. The award will be given annually for the best first book of Dogri written by an author in the preceding five years.
Om Goswami, author of the book unveiled during the function, presented a paper on the book touching various aspects of the life and works of Prof Shastri.
Earlier while welcoming the audience, Prof Lalit Magotra, president of Dogri Sanstha, said the presence and emergence of Prof Shastri at the crucial period of nineteen forties was a rare and most significant event that played a defining role in the history of development of Dogri language and literature.