Srinagar: A total of 10 young writers from Jammu and Kashmir in the fields of fiction, poetry etc. have received the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for Kashmiri language so far.
Constituted in 2011, the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar is a literary honour which is annually conferred on young writers for outstanding works in 24 major Indian languages. It recognises young writers under the age of 35, with the aim of encouraging and promoting them to produce quality literature.
The 10 writers from Kashmir, who have received this prestigious award for their works in Kashmiri language so far, all admit that the honour has served as an inspiration in their literary journey. Their achievement has also inspired many youngsters to take up writing in Kashmiri language.
The 10 Yuva Puraskar awardees, who have been honoured for their works in the fields of fiction, poetry and critical writing in Kashmiri language, are: Nishad Azam, Farooq Shaheen, Saba Shaheen, Adil Mohiuddin, Nighat Sahiba, Diba Nazir, Sagar Nazir, Muzaffar Ahmad Pare, Razi Tahir Baghat and Shaista Khan.
Nisar Azam was the first young writer to receive this award in 2011 for his poetry collection titled ‘Pathalej Zone Dars’.
Farooq Shaheen was awarded in 2012 for his literary criticism ‘Gash Miller’, while Saba Shaheen was honoured in 2013 for his poetry collection titled ‘Vola Kial Ravi’.
Nighat Sahiba was conferred with the Yuva Praskar in 2015 for her poetry collection ‘Zardpankh Dear’, while Adil Mohiuddin received the award for his book ‘Zol Dith Sardars’ in 2016.
Sagar Nazir won the award for his poetry collection ‘Thar Anganch’ in 2017, while the following year Diba Nazir was honoured for her fiction collection ‘Zarin Zhom’.
The 2020 Yuva Puraskar for work in Kashmiri language went to Muzaffar Ahmed Pray for his poetry collection ‘Wauch Baath’, while in 2021, the award was won by Razi Tahir Bhagat for his fiction collection ‘Yela’.
In 2022, Shahista Khan won the Yuva Puraskar for her literary collection ‘Brand Birs Peeth’.
The award comprises a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and an engraved copper plaque.
According to eminent writer and researcher Mohammad Salim Salik, bestowing the Yuva Puraskar has increased interest in Kashmiri language among the young writers.
“This is a welcome step by the Sahitya Akademi to encourage young writers. It gives more inspiration to the writers and encourages them to produce quality literature in their own language,” he said.