Pratibha Ray

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Pratibha Ray
Pratiba Ray 2010.JPG
Born (1944-01-21) 21 January 1944 (age 76)
Alabol, Balikuda, Jagatsinghpur, Odisha
EducationM.A. (Education), PhD (Educational Psychology)[1]
Alma materRavenshaw College
Notable worksYajnaseni, Sheelapadma
Notable awardsJnanpith Award
Moortidevi Award

Pratibha Ray is an Indian academic and writer. She was born on 21 January 1943, at Alabol, a remote village in the Balikuda area of Jagatsinghpur district formerly part of Cuttack district of Odisha state.[2] She was the first woman to win the Moortidevi Award in 1991.[3]

She is an eminent fiction-writer in contemporary India. She writes novels and short stories in her mother tongue Odia. Her first novel Barsha Basanta Baishakha (1974)[4] was a best seller.

Her search for a "social order based on equality, love, peace and integration", continues, since she first penned at the age of nine. When she wrote for a social order, based on equality without class, caste, religion or sex discriminations, some of her critics branded her as a communist, and some as feminist.[5] But she says "I am a humanist. Men and women have been created differently for the healthy functioning of society. The specialities women have been endowed with should be nurtured further. As a human being however, woman is equal to man".

She continued her writing career even after her marriage and raising a family of three children and husband Mr Akshay Ray who is an eminent engineer of odisha of kaduapada jagatsinghpur dist of odisha she credits her parents and her husband. She completed her master's degree in education, and PhD in educational psychology while raising her children. Her post-doctoral research was on Tribalism and Criminology of Bondo Highlander, one of the most primitive[6][7][8] tribes of Odisha, India.


She started her professional career as a school teacher, and later she taught in various Government Colleges in Odisha for thirty years. She has guided doctoral research and has published many research articles. She took voluntary retirement as a Professor of Education from State Government Service and joined as Member, Public Service Commission of Odisha.[9]

Other activities[edit]

She has active interest in social reform and has fought against social injustice on many occasions. One important incident in her life is protesting against colour (caste/religion) discrimination by the high priests of Jagannath Temple at Puri. She is currently fighting a defamation case lodged by the priests against her for her newspaper article in which she wrote against the undesirable behaviour of the priests, titled The Colour of Religion is Black (Dharmara Ranga Kala). She works in the cyclone-affected areas after the Odisha's Super Cyclone of October,1999 and she is working for rehabilitation of the orphans and widows of Cyclone affected areas.


Traveled extensively inside India to participate in various National Literary and Educational Conferences. Visited five Republics of the erstwhile USSR in 1986 in a cultural exchange programme sponsored by ISCUS. She represented India as an Indian writer in the India Fair in Australia "India Today 94" sponsored by Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi in 1994. She gave readings and talks on Indian Literature and Languages in several Universities of Australia. Visited USA, U.K and France on speaking tours. Represented India as an Indian writer in the India Festival in Bangladesh in 1996. Attended the 7th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women in the University of Tromsoe, Norway in June 1999 as an Indian delegate. She visited Norway, Sweden, Finland & Denmark on a speaking tour in 1999. Visited Zurich, Switzerland in 2000 to present a paper in the Third European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education.


She is a member of a number of learned societies. She is connected with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Central Board of Film Certification, Indian Red Cross Society, India International Centre, National Book Trust of India, Central Academy of Letters etc. She has traveled extensively in India and abroad to participate in various literary and educational conferences. She has won a number of national and state awards for her creative writing.

Selected works[edit]


  • Barsa Basanta Baishakha, 1974
  • Aranya, 1977
  • Nishiddha Prithivi, 1978
  • Parichaya, 1979
  • Aparichita, 1979. (A film was made & won Best Film-Story award from Odisha State Govt., Department of Culture)
  • Punyatoya""the story of village girl Meghi, 1979. (Tr. To Hindi)
  • Meghamedura, 1980
  • Ashabari, 1980
  • Ayamarambha, 1981
  • Nilatrishna, 1981. (Tr. to Hindi)
  • Samudrara Swara, 1982. (Tr. to Hindi)
  • Shilapadma, 1983. (Odisha Sahitya Academy Award, 1985; Tr. to Assamese, Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Punjabi and English)[10]
  • Yajnaseni, 1984 (Moorti Devi Award,1991 and Sarala Award, 1990. Tr. to English, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hungerian)[11]
  • Dehatita, 1986
  • Uttaramarg, 1988. (Tr. to Hindi & Punjabi)
  • Adibhumi (Tr. to Hindi & English)
  • Mahamoha, 1998 (To be published in Hindi, Bengali & Malayalam)
  • Magnamati, 2004
  • Maitripadapara Shakha Prashakha (USSR), 1990
  • Dura Dwividha (UK, France), 1999
  • Aparadhira Sweda (Australia), 2000
Short Stories
  • Samanya Kathana – 1978
  • Gangashiuli – 1979
  • Asamapta – 1980
  • Aikatana – 1981
  • Anabana – 1983
  • Hatabaksa – 1983
  • Ghasa O Akasa
  • Chandrabhaga O Chandrakala – 1984
  • Shrestha Galpa – 1984
  • Abyakta (made into a Telefilm) – 1986
  • Itibut – 1987
  • Haripatra – 1989
  • Prthak Isvara – 1991
  • Bhagavanara Desa – 1991
  • Manushya Swara – 1992
  • Sva-nirvachita SreshthaGalpa – 1994
  • Sashthasati – 1996
  • Moksha (made into a Feature Film, that received the Best Regional Film award) – 1996[12]
  • Ullaghna (Sahitya Akademi Award,2000) – 1998
  • Nivedanam Idam – 2000
  • Gandhinka – 2002
  • Jhotipaka Kantha – 2006


Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 1985 – 'Odisha Sahitya Academi Award' for her novel Sheelapadma
  • 1990 – 'Sarala Award' for her novel Yajnaseni
  • 1991 – 'Moortidevi Award' for her Novel Yajnaseni[13]
  • 2000 – 'Sahitya Akademi Award' for her Short-Story Collection Ullaghna
  • 2006 – 'Amrita Keerti Puraskar'[14]
  • 2007 – 'Padma Shri Award' in Literature and Education by the Government of India.
  • 2011 – 'Jnanpith Award'[15]
  • 2013 – Odisha Living Legend Award (Literature) [16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gulati, Varun (2009). "Language in India". Retrieved 28 December 2012. an M.A. in Education and PhD in Educational Psychology
  2. ^ "Odia writer Pratibha Ray named for Jnanpith Award : East, News – India Today". 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2012. She was born to a Gandhian teacher on January 21, 1943, at Alabol village.
  3. ^ Balakrishnan, Hariharan (2007). "The Hindu : Literary Review / Personality : 'The sky is not the limit'". Retrieved 28 December 2012. first woman to win the Jnanpith Moorti Devi Award.
  4. ^ "Odisha: Eminent fiction writer Dr Pratibha Ray to receive coveted Jnanpith Award, Oriya Orbit". 2012. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2012. her first novel as a novice, titled "Barsha-Basanta-Baishakha" (The Rain, Spring and Summer, 1974) which immediately captured the hearts of Odia readers.
  5. ^ Panda Mishra, Anita (May 2013). "A literary crusader".
  6. ^ Ranjan Sahu, Priya (May 2014). "Bondas, a primitive tribe in Odisha hills, get their first MLA". hindustan times.
  7. ^ "Primitive Bonda Tribes of Odisha & Andhra Pradesh". November 2017.
  8. ^ Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri, Sucheta Sen Chaudhuri (2005). Primitive Tribes in Contemporary India: Concept, Ethnography and Demography, Volumen 1 Primitive Tribes in Contemporary India: Concept, Ethnography and Demography. Mittal Publications. p. 320. ISBN 9788183240260.
  9. ^ Parida, Saumya (2012). "Odisha: Eminent fiction writer Dr Pratibha Ray to receive coveted Jnanpith Award". Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2012. She took voluntary retirement as a Professor of Education from State Government Service in 1998 and joined as Member, Public Service Commission of Odisha State
  10. ^ "Assam gets a taste of governor's literary skills – Times of India". 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2012. Roy's Sahitya Akademi winning novel ' Sheela Padma'
  11. ^ "Oriya writer Pratibha Roy to receive Amrita Keerti Award – Oneindia News". 2006. Retrieved 28 December 2012. It has been translated into seven languages so far and won for the authoress Bharatiya Jnanpith Trust's Moorti Devi Award and Sarala Award of Orissa in 1990.
  12. ^ "Pratibha Ray". Retrieved 28 December 2012. Her story "Moksha" has been made into a film and won the best film award from President of India.
  13. ^ "Manorama Online | Odia writer Pratibha Ray selected for Jnanpith award". 2012. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2012. Yjnaseni (1985), which won Jnanpith Trust's Moorti Devi Award in 1991
  14. ^ "Prathiba Ray to receive Amrita Keerthi – Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi". 2006. Retrieved 28 December 2012. Smt. Pratibha Ray will be awarded the Ashram's Amrita Keerti Puraskar for her meritorious contributions to the field of Indian literature.
  15. ^ "Oriya novelist and academician Pratibha Ray wins 2011 Jnanpith Award". 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2012. it was decided that Ray, 69, will be the winner of the 2011 Jnanapith Award.
  16. ^ Nayak, Anuja. "OdishaDiary Conferred prestigious Living Legend, Odisha Inc and Youth Inspiration Awards". OdishaSamachar. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2015.

External links[edit]