Thailand’s Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, 60, of Thailand was recently conferred with the first ‘World Sanskrit Award’ tomorrow for her exemplary contribution towards promotion of the Sanskrit language. The award was presented by the Indian Vice President (VP) Hamid Ansari at a function held in New Delhi.

Congratulating the awardee the Indian VP said, “I congratulate Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Prof. Cardona for being the first recipients of ICCR’s World Sanskrit Awards”. Addressing the event, the Indian Vice President also added that “Sanskrit is important, and the corpus of scientific, philosophical, sacral, and poetic texts produced in this language is surely one of the richest, probably the richest, contributions to global textual culture ever”.

Ms. Sirindhorn is a renowned educator and scholar of Sanskrit and Pali. She has been a patron of Sanskrit studies in Thailand and propagation of Sanskrit globally. The local Thai commonly refer her by as “Phra Thep”, meaning ‘princess angel’. She has been conferred with numerous awards and Honorary Doctorates including Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature (Sanskrit) from Delhi University in 1987. Her noticeable accolades include – Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development Award from the Union Government in 2004; and Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1991. She was also the Royal Patron of the 16th World Sanskrit Conference which was held in Bangkok in 2015.  She is also a skilled performer and avid promoter of Thai traditional music.

The award, instituted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), is presented to eminent Sanskrit scholars to recognize their outstanding academic contributions including teaching and research in Sanskrit language and literature.

by Ashwani Srivastava

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