Indian diplomat-cum-poet Abhay K has been given the SAARC Literature Award for 2013 along with four other luminaries - poet Suman Pokhrel of Nepal, script writer and poet Farheen Chaudhary of Pakistan, Abdul Khaliq Rashid of Afghanistan and novelist Daya Dissanayake of Sri Lanka.
The awards were given away at the recently held SAARC Festival of Literature 2013 function in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
The awards were given away in the presence of over 100 delegates from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Dr. Suresh K. Goel, Director General of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, gave away the awards at the Grand Hotel in Agra.
The SAARC Literature Award is given annually to eminent writers from the South Asian region who have contributed to the promotion of literature in the region through their writings and literary initiatives.
The SAARC Festival of Literature saw the participation of key literary figures of the South Asian region such as Jayanta Mahapatra, Surjit Patar, Sitakant Mahapatra, Daya Dissanayake, A.K. Rashid, Mohammad Nurul Huda, Abhay K, Abhi Subedi and Nasreen Anjum Bhatti.
Besides them over a hundred distinguished participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka are taking part in the 13th edition of the festival.
The two day festival included the SAARC Literary Awards Ceremony and book releases.
The first day of the festival, besides the inaugural session had four sessions chaired by Kamala Wijerante of Sri Lanka, Ibraheem Wahid of Maldives, Jayanta Mahapatra of India and A.K. Rashid of Afghanistan, while the second day would have four sessions chaired by Sitakant Mahapatra of India, Daya Dissanayake of Sri Lanka, Abhay K and Surjit Patar of India.
The SAARC Festival of Literature started in 2000 and this year it focuses on environment literature and cultural connectivity. It is one of the important meeting grounds where writers, poets, playwrights, critics, translators from the entire South Asian region converge to discuss and debate significant issues of common concerns to the region. (ANI)