The chit fund scam in Orissa has claimed a victim in the most unlikeliest of places with noted bilingual writer and Sahitya Akademi fellow Manoj Das returning the remuneration that he received from one of the chit fund firms for a literary venture. After revelations about his receiving Rs 10 lakh as remuneration from chit fund firm Seashore Group over running a Odia magazine for the group, a hurt Das donated the honorarium of Rs 10 lakh he received from the company to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF).
Das was the advisor of Sahitya Patrika, a monthly Oriya magazine and Kishore Patrika, a monthly Oriya magazine for teenagers, published by the Seashore publications division. Das was also in charge of planning the contents of these two magazines for which the company had paid him a monthly honorarium of Rs 1 lakh for some months.
Besides, the company had also paid a monthly honorarium of Rs 5,000 to the assistant of Das for nine months. Das, an Indian award-winning bilingual creative writer who writes in Oriya and English has been an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry since 1973.
Recently, a journalist in a local newspaper had raised questions as to how Das received money from a chit fund group. A hurt Das finally wrote a column in anther newspaper refuting the allegations while informing of the donation of the entire honorarium to the CM Relief Fund.