Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: The Sheni Gopalakrishna Bhat Charitable Trust, Surahtkal, near here, has chosen senior Thenkuthittu background artiste Chipparu Krishnayya Ballal for the Sheni Award.

V. S. Acharya, Minister for Medical Education, will confer the award on this octogenarian artiste at a function to be held on the Trust premises on Saturday.

Harikrishna Punaroor, former president, Kannada Sahitya Parishat and president of the trust told presspersons here on Wednesday that Mr. Ballal, born into the royal family at Vittla in 1928 had spent nearly five decades of his career as background artist with the Sri Dharmasthala Mela. Mr. Ballal has accompanied many a senior artistes of his generation as well as senior bhagawathas of the present generation as well, Mr. Punaroor said.

Mr. Ballal is retired and lives with his extended family.

His elder son, Mariyaya, is continuing the family tradition by performing as a background artist with the Kateel mela.

The award consists of Rs. 15,000 in cash, a memento and a citation, Mr. Punaroor said.

The function would be followed by a talamaddale – Dharmasankata featuring leading artists such as Ishwar Bhat, M. L. Samaga among others.