Smt. Bidyut Prava Devi

Born :- 12-Jul-1926
Died :- 28-Jan-1977
Place of Birth :- Jhankad, Jagatsinghpur

Recognised as one of the best female poets in Odia literatur, Bidyut Prabha Devi was born on 12 July, 1926 at her maternal uncle’s home in a small village near Jhankad in the undivided district of Cuttack. She was the second daughter of Nimai Charan Das, a widely known writer and compiler, and Rekha Devi. Her parents were conservative and her education had to end after she had completed her matriculation course. Bidyut Prabha had a brother and three sisters and they all lived in Bamphisahi of Cuttack city with their parents. Her younger sister Punya Prabha Devi was also a writer.

Bidyut Prabha was a voracious reader and was gradually inclined towards writing poetry. She found a source of inspiration in her father. In her childhood she got herself acquainted with several major Odia poets who visited their father at different times, which also encouraged her in her aspiration of becoming a good poet. 

On 4 July 1949, she married Panchanan Mohanty, an employee of Odisha secretariat.

Bidyut Prabha Devi suffered from poor health during 1966, and drifted towards spirituality and moved to Sri Aurobindo Ashram. On 28 January 1977, her declining health led her to commit suicide by jumping in front of a train.

Bidyut Prabha started writing poems from 1940 and subsequently her poems were published in literary magazines, along with her elder sister Basanti’s who had written some poems. She published her first collection of poems ‘Sabita’ in 1944, which was mostly a collection of patriotic poems relating to the glory and grandeur of Odisha.

Though educated in urban area, her poems revolved around nostalgia of rural life of her childhood. Considerably influenced by two Odia poets, Nanda Kishore Bal and Kunja Bihari Das, she dealt in her poems with the problems of women trapped in the maze of an age-old conservative society. She also wrote plays and some children’s literature. In 1950, Bidyut Prabha’s book ‘Utkal Saraswata Pratibha’ was prescribed as a poetry text book for high school students. Her complete works of poems was published as ‘Bidyutprabha Sanchayan’ in 1957, which won the Odisha Sahitya Academy Award in 1962.

Her individual books include : Sabita (1947), Utkal Saraswata Pratibha (1947), Kanakanjali (1948), Marichika (1948), Bihayasi (1949), Bandanika (1950), Swapnadeep (1951), Jhara Siuli (1957), Jahaku, Jie (1957)



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