New Delhi: Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar presented the one-time Sangeet Natak Akademi Amrit Awards on the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to 84 artists from the field of performing arts of India who are above the age of 75 years and haven’t been accorded any national honour in their career so far.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi Amrit Awards were conferred by the Vice-President of India in a special ceremony Saturday at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi in the presence of Minister of Law and Justice (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal and Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs. Meenakashi Lekhi and Chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi Dr. Sandhya Purecha.
Speaking on the occasion the Vice President, Jagdeep Dhankhar emphasized the need to promote India’s glorious cultural heritage spanning over 5000 years. He called upon the media to recognize our cultural heritage and expressed the need to protect, support and nurture our artists in a structured manner. The Vice President expressed his happiness in honoring the individuals whose contributions uphold the cultural heritage and pride of the nation.
Expressing his profound admiration for individuals, all above 75 years of age, awarded today, Dhankhar described the veteran artists as the architects and real protectors of our cultural heritage. Dhankhar stated that their invaluable contributions should have been recognized long ago. He also lauded the resplendent display of Indian culture on the global stage during the G-20 summit, and expressed confidence that with right leadership in place, India will reach its pinnacle on the global stage in 2047.
Speaking on the occasion the Minister of Law and Justice (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said that it is a matter of great pride that today we are honouring the great people who have been working tirelessly in the field of music, dance and theatre. As a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Sangeet Natak Akademi Amrit Awards are a great honour and recognition to our distinguished masters in the field of performing arts. He further stated that these artists are the real heroes of our cultural heritage.
On this occasion the Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi said that India is a country which has unity in diversity and various dance, music and theatre forms have existed for centuries back. Our elder artists are torchbearers of our age-old civilization which is full of cultural values.
Sangeet Natak Akademi Amrit Awards is a national honour bestowed on performing artists as well as teachers and scholars in the field of performing arts. The recipients are selected by the Akademi’s General Council, consisting of distinguished musicians, dancers, theatre artists and scholars in these disciplines and nominees of the Government of India, States Governments, and Union Territories. The honour carries a purse of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh) besides Tamrapatra and Angavastram.
Some of the awardees include Raghubir Malik and Dina Nath Mishra for Hindustani vocal, Gowri Kuppuswamy and Anasuya Kulkarni for Carnatic vocal, Lalitha Srinivasan and Vilasini Devi Krishnapillai for Bharatnatyam and Smita Shastri and Kumkum Lal for Kuchipudi and Odishi, respectively. The awardees also include those from the folk genre like Mahabir Nayak from Jharkhand for music, Harishchandra Prabhakar Borkar from Maharashtra for theatre and Dharmeswar Nath of Assam for dance.