NEW DELHI: Sangeet Natak Akademi chairman Ram Niwas Mirdha on Tuesday conferred the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar-2007 on 30 young talented artistes from across the country at a function here.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mirdha observed: “In the past few years the Akademi presented awards to artistes who were either septuagenarians or octogenarians. The awardees themselves used to ask why they were presented the awards at the ripe old age and not earlier. Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar-2007 has recognised 30 young talented artistes.”
In his address, Sangeet Natak Akademi vice-chairman K.N. Panikkar said the awards were instituted in 2006 in the name of Ustad Bismillah Khan to identify young talents in different fields of music, dance, theatre, puppetry and other tradition of performing arts. “The recognition of their notable merit at the national level would give them great encouragement to serve their artistic fields in a more creative and fruitful manner. Youth has great promise in terms of vigour and dedication towards any field of activity, especially so in the case of performing arts. The Akademi has been playing a seminal role in grooming young performers by providing them opportunity to perform in various national and international programmes,” he added.
Each award carries a cash prize of Rs.25,000 and an “angavastram”. While in the field of music eight awards were presented for Hindustani vocal, Hindustani instrumental, Carnatic vocal, Carnatic instrumental and other traditions of music, in dance eight young artistes were selected for Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Manipuri, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam and music for dance. In theatre, eight artistes were selected for acting, direction and lighting. The winners included Methil Devika, a doctoral student of Mohiniattam from Palakkad and an ICCR empanelled artiste.