Padma awards: Assam’s winners include veteran journalist and India’s ‘Enid Blyton’
The government gave away the Padma awards, one of the highest civilian recognitions in the country, on Friday to honour people who have made an exceptional contribution in their respective fields of work.
The awards are conferred in three categories — the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. This year 85 people were given the Padma awards, including three Padma Vibhushans, nine Padma Bhushans and 73 Padma Shris.
Meet two people from Assam who were conferred the Padmashri in the category Literature and Education.
Prafulla Govinda Baruah (Padmashri)
A doyen of Assamese journalism, Prafulla Govinda Baruah, has been at the helm of affairs at The Assam Tribune for over half a century now. He became the editor of the Assam’s highest circulated English daily in 1966.
Baruah is also the managing director of The Assam Tribune Group. He is also associated with various socio-cultural organisations and has promoted amateur theatre in Assam for decades. He has won several awards over the years and played a prominent role in creating awareness of cancer.
Arup Kumar Dutta (Padmashri)
Writer and journalist Arup Kumar Dutta is a popular name in Assam. Dutta, an alumnus of Lawrence School, Sanawar, started working as an English teacher at JB College in Jorhat after his graduation and post-graduation from Delhi University.
Dutta, 71, has written 14 books for adults and 17 adventure novels for children. The Illustrated Weekly of India magazine had called Dutta ‘India’s own Enid Blyton’.
The Kaziranga Trail, his first fiction for young people which focused on conservation, won the first prize in an international competition organised by Children Book Trust in 1979. A bestseller, the book has been translated into several Indian and foreign languages and also into Braille in Japan.