Distinguished litterateur, social worker and former editor of Odia daily ‘The Samaja’ Manorama Mohapatra left for heavenly abode on 18th of September at the age of 87. Mohapatra complained of chest pain the night before. She was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack where she breathed her last.
Dr. Manorama Mohapatra with former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi
Manorama Mohapatra was born on June 10, 1934, Odisha. Manorama was Former Editor of Odia daily ‘The Samaja’. The responsibility she received in 1998 from her father Padma Bhushan Dr. Radhanath Rath who was a noted freedom fighter and president of Lok Sevak Mandal. With ‘Jhitipiti Kahe Satakshi’ in the Odia daily, Mohapatra provided critical analysis of contemporary issues.
She was appointed as secretary of Utkal Sahitya Samaj from 1982 to 1990. She has also served as the President of Odisha Sahitya Akademi in 1991. Being the first woman to hold this post, till 1994. Besides contributing to the fields of literature and social work, Mohapatra has more than 40 books and novels. Her first book ‘Juar Jeiunthi Uthe’,was published in 1960. It was a collection of revolutionary poems on women empowerment. She was a famous orator who dominated the space of public speaking for more than 60 years.
Her literary works include ‘Ardhanareeswara’, ‘Baidehi Visarjita’, ‘Sanghatir Samhita’, ‘Shakti Rupena Sansthita’, ‘Roopam Roopam Pratirupam’, ‘Smruti Chandan’, ‘Samay Purusha’, ‘Smritir Naimisharanya’, ‘Arup Aalo’ in Bengali, ‘Ye Prithvi Sarsajjya’, and ‘Uttara Niruttara’.
Manorama was honoured with Sahitya Akademi Award in 1984, Soviet Nehru Award in 1988, Critic Circle of India Award in 1990, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar Samman in 1991, Rupambara Award in 1994, Utkal Sahitya Samaj Award, Gangadhar Meher Samman, Sahitya Praveena Award, Sarala Award and Sucharita Award during her recognized career.
Expressing deep grief, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Anguished by the passing away of noted litterateur Manorama Mohapatra Ji. She will be remembered for her writings on a wide range of issues. She also made rich contributions to the media and did extensive community service. Condolences to her family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik also prayed for the departed soul..
Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also expressed sympathy towards the family. National BJP vice-president Baijayant Panda, deputy chairperson of State Planning Board Sanjay Dasburma and many well-known personalities condoled her death and her last rites were conducted at Swargadwar in Puri.
Picture Credits: Sanjit Dash and Social Media, mostly Twitter handles that paid tribute.