The Kendra Sangeetha Natak Akademi’s one-time ‘Tagore Ratna’ award was presented to Mankombu Sivasankara Pillai, veteran Kathakali personality, at his residence in Chengannur on Wednesday.
The Akademi has instituted the one-time award, in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, to honour the 50 artistes above the age of 75 years who have made significant contributions in the field of performing arts.
The award presentation ceremony for the artistes who have been tipped for the honour was held in Chennai on May 2. The 90-year old Sivasankara Pillai, who has been bed-ridden following a cerebral haemorrhage since the past 10 years, could not attend the award ceremony.
Mr Sadanam Balakrishnan, advisory committee member of the Akademi, accompanied by Mr Yeshpaul, akademi official, reached the artiste’s house in Chengannur town to present the award to him in person on Wednesday.
Saraswathy Amma, Mr Pillai’s wife, and Sreekumar, his son, greeted the guests and the award comprising a purse of Rs 3 lakhs, a citation and a shawl was presented to him at a simple function held at the artiste’s residence in the forenoon.
Mr C.K. Sivarama Pillai, former principal at Kalady Sree Sankara College who is also the artiste’s brother and co-author of his book on Kathakali, ‘Kathakali Swaroopom’, was also present.