Celebrated Bollywood music composers’ duo Kalyanji-Anandji were given the prestigious Akshaya Samman for the year 2012 during the annual Akshaya Utsav hosted at the sprawling Utkal Mandap auditorium here on Friday.
The Samman , that carries a cash award of Rs. one lakh, a memento and a citation, has been instituted in memory of late legendary Odia singer, composer, lyricist and writer Akshaya Mohanty by the city-based Akshaya Mohanty Foundation. Celebrated music personalities Manna Dey, Gulzar, Ilaiya Raaja and Asha Bhosle have been the past awardees of the honour.
Tourism and Culture Minister Maheswar Mohanty and Agriculture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra along with Akshaya Mohanty’s wife Prabina Mohanty, Akshaya Utsav director Debasis Patnaik and Foundation president Bibhu Das honoured Anandji alone as Kalyanji is no more.
Acknowledging the honour, Anandji stated that Akshaya Mohanty was an immensely popular and gifted singer like Kishore Kumar much to the cheer of the huge fans of Akshaya that assembled to celebrate the iconic musician’s birthday.
Seventeen popular and gifted singers of the State offered their tribute to the legend by singing songs sung, scripted, composed or directed by Akshaya during the festival. Besides, the six winners of the state-level Akshaya Sangeet Pratiyogita who were awarded on the occasion also performed. Well-known sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik along with his students presented a special show on the occasion as a tribute to Akshaya Mohanty while dance drama Joubana adapting writings of Akshaya will also staged.