Gujarati poet, playwright and academic Sitanshu Yashaschandra was selected for 2017 Saraswati Samman for his collection of verses (poetry) titled “Vakhar” published in 2009. It was 27 edition of the award.
Sitanshu Yashaschandra was born in 1941 in Gujarat’s Bhuj district. He has three poetry collections — Odysseusnu Halesu, Jatayu, and Vakhar to his credit. He has penned 10 plays and three books on critical analysis. He is also a recipient of the Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi Award.
Saraswati Samman is an annual award bestowed upon Indian citizen for his outstanding literary work written in any 22 Indian language mentioned in Schedule VIII of Constitution and published during last 10 years. The award has been named after Indian goddess of learning Saraswati. It carries cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh, a citation and a plaque of goddess Saraswati.
Saraswati Samman is considered one of the highest literary awards in India. It was established in 1991 by KK Birla Foundation (which also gives Vyas Samman for Hindi, and Bihari Puraskar for Hindi and Rajasthani writers of Rajasthan).
Harivansh Rai Bachchan was first recipient of this award for his autobiography published Dashdwar Se Sopan Tak written in four volumes. Past awardees also include Oriya poet Ramakanta Rath; Marathi playright Vijay Tendulkar; and M Veerappa Moily etc.