Poetess Sugathakumari has been chosen for the esteemed 22nd Saraswati Samman by the K K Birla Foundation for her poetry collection Manalezhuthu (Writing on Sand), a collection of 27 poems published in 2006. A 13-member jury headed by former Chief Justice of India R. C. Lahoti went through the works published in 22 languages during 2002-11, and adjudged Sugathakumari as the frontrunner. Saraswati Samman is awarded annually for outstanding literary work in any Indian language in past 10 years. The award is constituted by K. K. Birla Foundation. Sugathakumari has to her credit 15 volumes of poetry and six collections of prose during a literary career spanning five decades. The 79 year old poetess is an avid environmentalist and also chaired Kerala’s State Women’s Commission. The other two Keralites who have won this award were Balamani Amma for her poetry collection ‘Nivedyam’ in 1995 and Ayyappa Panicker for ‘Ayyappa Panikkarude Kritikal’ in 2005.