Started in 1899, Prayas was a monthly journal in Bengali, and the mouthpiece of the Sahitya-Sevak-Samiti. The journal encouraged young writers to contribute and served as their platform. The journal also aimed to enlighten the reader ‘on belles lettres, on arts, on sciences and religion’. The journal published poems, plays, short stories and novellas as well as essays, commentaries, obituaries, and reviews. The Behar News considered the journal to be ‘ably conducted’ and ‘highly beneficial to the inhabitants of Bengal’.
The very first issue of the journal appealed to the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad to ‘keep an eye on the purity of the Bengali literature of the day’. Published articles mostly focused on literary criticism, religion, history and science. These included Nandalal Gupta’s ‘Rajputder Maddhye Bidhoba-Bibaho’ (Widow Remarriage among the Rajputs); Jogendra Nath Sarkar’s ‘Adhunik Natyashala o Prahashan’ (Modern Theatre and Satire); Basanta Lal Mitra’s ‘Sri Bhagabat Dharma’; Bipin Bihari Das Gupta’s ‘Kalidas Prasanga’ (On Kalidasa); and Amrita Lal Basu’s ‘Mul Dharma Ekti’ (One Core Religion). The religious and scientific subjects were addressed in lucid prose for easy comprehension.
The journal reviewed both books and journal issues.