Jaipur: Renowned Indian writer, translator and literary historian, Dr. Rakhshanda Jalil bagged the 5th Vani Foundation Distinguished Translator Award. Presented by leading publishing house Vani Prakashan Group and leading performing arts & entertainment company Teamwork Arts Pvt. Ltd., the Vani Foundation Distinguished Translator Award ceremony took place at the opening day of Jaipur Bookmark, Durbar Hall, Diggi Palace, Jaipur. On the occasion, Chief guest H.E Hans Jacob Frydenlund, Ambassador of Norway to India & Vani Tripathi Tikko, actor, politician and Member of Central Board of Film Certification handed over the award to Dr. Rakhshanda Jalil. The honourable jury for the award Namita Gokhale, Neeta Gupta, and Sundeep Bhutoria were also present at the ceremony. The award recognises translators who have produced a significant literary corpus over an extended period of time by developing a literary and linguistic relation between at least two Indian languages. The Award includes 1 lakh rupees and Vani Foundation’s mark of honour.
Dr Rakhshanda Jalil is a writer, translator and literary historian. She has written over 25 books and over 50 academic papers and essays. Her book on the lesser-known monuments of Delhi, Invisible City, continues to be a bestseller Rakhshanda Jalil did her PhD in ‘Progressive Writers Movement as reflected in Urdu’. She has written the biography of Urdu feminist writer Dr Rashid Jahan and has also translated the short stories of Intizar Hussain. She was awarded the Kaifi Azmi Award for her contribution to Urdu, the First Jawad Memorial Prize for Urdu-Hindi Translation. She runs an organization called Hindustani Awaaz, devoted to the popularization of Hindi-Urdu literature and culture.
Announcing the award H.E Hans Jacob Frydenlund, Norway Ambassador to India said ‘For Norway, being a country of a small language, translations, and excellent translators are crucial. It is therefore valuable for us to be part of this prestigious award. It encourages translators of the future while acknowledging great translators of the present. I congratulate the winner with the hope of more inter-language exchanges via translations in the future.
Dr. Rakhshanda Jalil on receiving the award said, “It’s a matter of great pride and honour to receive the Vani Distinguished Translator Award from such an eminent jury. My first translation, a collection of short stories by Premchand was published in 1992, it has been a long enriching journey since then. It is heartening to see translation finding spaces and getting accolades at various literary platforms across the country and publishers have a great role to play in this.”
Congratulating the winner, Namita Gokhale, founder and co-director of Jaipur Literature Festival said, “Rakhshanda Jalil is one of our most talented, committed, engaged writer and translator. Her range of the translation is very wide, from the Urdu women writer to Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’, her perspectives on Indian literature in Hindi, Urdu, Hindustani and her very original insights are very valuable to the larger corpus of Indian literary understanding.
Sanjoy Roy, Producer Jaipur Literature Festival and MD, Teamwork Arts said, “Each year Vani Foundation and Teamwork Arts presents the Vani Foundation Distinguished Translator Award , this award has been addressing diversity in the Indian literary landscapes right from its very inception and has highlighted the body of work of many eminent writers and poets.
Neeta Gupta, Director of Jaipur BookMark said, “Translation remains our top priority at the 7th edition of Jaipur BookMark. We have sessions focused translation, along with launching Norwegian playwright Ibsen’s plays in Hindi and we announce two coveted translation awards, the Vani Foundation Distinguished Translator Award and the Romain Rolland prize for Translations.’
On this occasion, Arun Maheshwari, Director of Vani Foundation, said that “Apart from its literary activities, the Vani Foundation gives special importance to translation because translation is the only medium of dialogue between the world’s civilizations and cultures. The interaction between Indian civilization, Indian culture and the languages of India and walking in step with languages of the world are important in itself because it promotes our civilization, culture, and art. The translation is just and the only medium of development of languages”
Cultural Critic Sundeep Bhutoria said, “Language is the medium that connects a country with its society and its important to interconnect different languages for country’s unity and equality. Vani Foundation Distinguished Translator Award is an important measure that aims at working on the expansion of languages and in today’s time our society stands in need of these kinds of measures.”
This award is especially given to translators who have made a special contribution in the field of literary prosperity through continuous writing and translation. The award not only creates a public platform for the translators and writers, but it also provides an opportunity for the winner to showcase their work to a larger audience, The honourable jury for the award consists of Namita Gokhale founder and co-director of Jaipur Literature Festival, Neeta Gupta, Director of Jaipur BookMark and Sundeep Bhutoria, a Cultural Critic.
The journey over the years of this award has recognized some of the best talents in the country. In 2016, the first Vani foundation ‘Distinguished Translator Award’ was presented to Malayalam poet Shri Attoor Ravi Varma. In 2017, this award was presented to noted poetess, writer, and critic Dr.Anamika. In 2018, this award was given to historian and translator Dr Rita Kothari and in the year 2019, a famous poet, storyteller, translator and painter, Teji Grover was honoured with this award.