Five veteran stage artistes of Krishna district were felicitated on Friday on the occasion of Telugu Theatre Day, marking the birth anniversary of social reformer and writer Kandukuri Veeresalingam.

Along with 75-year-old city-based artiste Aachanta Venkataratnam Naidu, who received several State-level awards and recognitions, two artistes from Gudivada, one from Machilipatnam and another from Jaggayyapeta were felicitated at a function organised by the AP State Film, TV and Theatre Development Corporation in association with the Krishna District Cultural Council and Andhra Arts Academy at Velidandla Hanumantharaya Grandhalayam.

Bodapati Visveswara Rao, 82, Vathadi Ahalya Rani, 62, both hailing from Gudivada, Dharanikota Malliswari, 58, based at Machilipatnam, and Gollamudi Lakshmi Narasimha Rao, 70, hailing from Gandrai near Jaggayyapeta, were the other artistes who were felicitated by Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu and MLC Ilapuram Venkaiah.

All the five were honoured with a cash award of Rs.10,000, a shawl, a memento and a certificate each.

Joint Collector Gaurav Uppal, who was the chief guest, Additional Joint Collector Shamsher Ahmed, members of the District Cultural Council, its convener and District Public Relations Office K. Jaya Rao and several lovers of theatre arts were present on the occasion.

Dr. Uppal said on the occasion that the district administration would make best efforts to locate a piece of land for construction of a building that could cater to the needs of theatre artistes for rehearsals, training and so on.

Mr. Vishnu said that the government was committed to the welfare of stage artistes, and honouring them on the occasion of Telugu Theatre Day was a part of this.

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