New Delhi, Mar 30 (UNI) Noted Bengali writer and novelist Mahashweta Devi will be given the SAARC literary award at the 19th SAARC Writers' Conference here on April 3 being held on the sidelines of the 14th SAARC Summit.
Officials said the two-day SAARC Writers' Conference beginning on April 3 alongside the Summit, will be attended by noted writers and playwrights from all the SAARC member countries.
These include those from Afghanistan which will join the Grouping as the eighth member at the 14th Summit.
The Conference which has the theme 'Words, Cultures, Identities--South Asian Dialogue', will have five sessions.
Besides, a SAARC and Dance evening will be organised by the ICCR on April 2 on the eve of the Summit.
All SAARC member countries have nominated their respective groups to perform at the evening.
''An abbreviated version of the event will also be held at the banquet to be hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for all the dignitaries attending the Summit.
The event will bring together leading writers and poets from all SAARC member countries. A large number of scholars, poets and writers from all SAARC member countries have already confirmed their participation, ''It is our expectation that the events will help bring renewed focus on the very significant role that the soft power of culture can play to bring the people of SAARC region together through cultural connectivity,'' the officials said.
They said the events would also highlight the fact that the SAARC region has one of the oldest civilisations in the world and the ''shared cultural history'' remained rich and unique in its vastness.
The events are being organised by the ICCR in collaboration with the SAARC Writers' and Literature (FOSWAL) which is a SAARC recognised body.
Mahashweta Devi has written more than a hundred books that include classics like 'Hazar Churasir Maan' (The Mother of 1084), 'Aranyer Audhikar' (The Right to the Forest) 'Chotti Munda Aar Taar Teer' (Chotti Munda and his Arrow) and 'Master Saab' (The School Teacher) etc. Apart from these acclaimed novels she has written hundreds of short stories and essays on social and cultural themes.
She has received many coveted awards and honours for her writing and work including the Magsaysay Award. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen Indian and foreign languages.