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Amrita Pritam is dead

The renowned Punjabi writer passed away at her residence in South Delhi. She was 86.

books Updated: Nov 08, 2005 20:25 IST
United News of India/
United News of India/

Renowned Punjabi writer Amrita Pritam passed away at her Hauz Khas residence in South Delhi today after a prolonged illness.

She was 86.

The end came around 1600 hrs. Noted writer Imroz who had been living with her for last many years, was by her side.

Pritam was born in 1919 in Gujranwala in a part of India which later became Pakistan. The only child of a school teacher and a poet, she had to shoulder adult responsibilities very early on in life. Her mother died when she was eleven, also the time when she began writing.

Her first collection was published when she was only sixteen years old, the year she married an editor to whom she was engaged in early childhood.

In 1947 at the time of the Partition she moved to New Delhi, where she began to write in Hindi as opposed to Punjabi, her mother tongue. Till 1961 she worked for All India Radio.

After her divorce in 1960 her writings had a marked feminist inclination. Doused in pain, she drew on her unhappy marriage in many of her stories and poems.

She was the first woman recipient of th Sahitya Akademi Award, the first Punjabi woman to receive the Padma Shree from the President of India in 1969.

She got the Jananpeeth award in 1982 for her lifetime contribution to Punjabi literature and received three D Lit degrees from Delhi, Jabalpur and Vishva Bharti Universities in 1973 and 1983 respectively.

Sahitya Akademi Award (1956)
Padmashri (1969)
Delhi University confers its D. Litt. (1973)
Jabalpur Uniersity confers its D. Litt. (1973)
International Vaptsarove Award by the Republic of Bulgaria (1979)
Bharatiya Jnanpith (1981)
Vishwa Bharati, Shantiniketan, confers its D. Litt.(1987)
Degree of Officer dens/order des arts et des letters by the French Government (1987).

Seminal Works
Amrit Lehran (1936) - poems
Jinnda Jian (1939) - poems
Trel Dhote Phul (1942) - poems
O Gitan Valia (1942) - poems
Badlam De Laali (1943) - poems
Lok Pigr (1944) - poems
Pagthar Giite (1946)- poems
Punjabi Di Aawaaz (1952) - poems
Sunehray (1955) - poems
Ashoka Cheti (1957)- poems
Kasturi (1957) - poems
Nagmani (1964) - poems
Ik Si Anita(1964) - poems
Chak Nambar Chatti (1964) - poems
Jilavatan (1968) - novel
Rasidi Ticket (1976)- autobiography
Uninja Din (1979) - poems
Kagaz Te Kanvas (1981) - Bharatiya Jnanpith Award.

First Published: Oct 31, 2005 19:23 IST