Professor Pushpita Awasthi was awarded Padmabhushan Moturi Satyanarayan Award for the promotion of Hindi and writing abroad by the President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on 30 May 2017. This distinguished award was announced by the Central Hindi Institute, an International level organization within the ambit of Department of Higher of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, India. The award carried Rs. Five Lacs, a citation and a shawl.
Dr. Pushpita was born in Kanpur, North India. She studied at the renowned Kashi Hindu University, Varanasi, India, and later 20 years headed the Department of Hindi at a college of Kashi Hindu University till 2001. In 2001 she moved to Suriname (South America) as First Secretary and Professor of Hindi at the Indian Cultural Centre of the Indian Embassy at Paramaribo. Her love for Hindi drove her to bring together a Hindi community in Suriname. She organized the seventh World Hindi Conference in 2003 at Paramaribo.
Dr. Pushpita’s poetry collections include Shabd Bankar Rahti Hain Rituyen (1997), Akshat (2002), Ishwarashish (2005), Hridaya Ki Hatheli (2007), Ras Gagan Gupha Me Ajhar Jharai (2007), Antardhwani (2009), Devvruksh (2009), Shail Pratimaon Se (Hindi, English and Dutch) (2010), Tum Ho Mujhme (2013), Shabdon Me Rahti Hai Wah (2014), Bhojpatra (2015), Garbh Ki Utaran (2016). Her poems are also included in an international magazine Poetic Bond V (2015) and Poetic Bond VI (2016) from Willowdown Books, U.K. In her poems the everyday, contemporary experience echoes the mystic poetry of Kabir and the love poetry of sanskrit poet Jaidev.
Her poetry collections are also published in English and Dutch languages: In Woordenbestaat Ze, Amsterdam, India Institute, 2008; Hetbeeld in de rots (Dutch), Amrit Consultancy, Netherlands, 2010; The Statue in the rock (English), Amrit Consultancy, The Netherlands, 2010, Devvriksh (Poems in Hindi and English), Remadhav Art Pvt. Ltd, Ghaziabad, India 2009; Echoes in the Earth, Willowdown Books, U.K. 2016. Echoes in the Earth was also released in the Lucknow Literary Festival of India, on 28th October 2016. The editor of the Poetic Bond, Trevor Maynard, commented on her poetry: “Pushpita’s works swirls with energy: darting and surprising, leaping and resting, comforting and challenging. Energy which, it was my role to find melody and harmony, to bring together in such a way as the work would flow with the ease of the Ganges, intrinsic to the soul of humanity, of the planet, and of the universe. This collection is therefore, a journey – a spiritual, philosophical, and human journey.”
Apart from two collections of short stories she has also published a novel in Hindi called Chhinnamool. This is the first ever novel written in Hindi on the life of people of Surinam.
Dr. Pushpita has delivered many lecturers on Indian culture and recited poems in various Caribbean countries of the world including Europe, America, South America, Japan, Australia etc. She is an examiner of PhD Degree and Dissertations in Hindi Language and Literature in various Universities abroad.
Dr. Pushpita has been permanently living in the Netherlands since 2001. In 2006 she founded “Hindi Universe Foundation” for the promotion of Indian culture, literature and humanitarian causes. At present she is the director of this Foundation. She is also member of Indian Diasporas organizations all over world.