Assamese author Dr. Lakshmi Nandan Bora has won the prestigious Saraswati Samman for his excrement literary work ‘Kayakalpa’. Instituted by the K.K. Birla Foundation, New Delhi in 1991, Saraswati Samman is recognized as one of the most prestigious literary awards in India. It is offered every year on an outstanding literary work in any major Indian language by a native Indian and published during the last decade.
The selection committee, after going through the literary creations in 22 major Indian languages during 1998-2007, has decided to honour 'Kayakalpa' by Dr Bora for the 18th Saraswati Samman, 2008.
Talking to this writer soon after the news broke, Dr Bora expressed his happiness and commented that it was a rare honour to the Assamese literature and the Assamese community. It may be mentioned that Dr Bora is the first recipient of the award from Assam as well as from Northeast India.
The earlier recipients of the coveted award include Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Ramakanta Rath, Vijay Tendulkar, Shamsur Rahman, Sankha Ghosh, Indira Parthasarathy, Govind Chandra Pande, Sunil Gangopadhyay etc.
Born in Assam in 1932, Dr. Bora had his early education at Nagaon and completed his M.Sc. in Physics from the Calcutta University. He obtained a Ph. D. in Agricultural Meteorology (Agrometeorology) from Andhra University, Waltair.
His professional life started as a lecturer in Cotton College, Guwahati and later Dr Bora worked for St. Anthony's College (Shillong), B.N.College (Dhubri), and J.B. College (Jorhat).
In 1958, he joined the Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat and retired as the Head of the Department of Physics and Agrometeorology in 1992 . He also served as a visiting professor for Johannes Gutenberg University (Germany). More over, Dr Bora took the responsibility as the chairman of Pollution Control Board of Assam during 1997 to 2003.
He was also elected as the President of Asom Sahitya Sabha, the highest literary forum of the State in 1996.