The Sangeet Natak Akademi has bestowed special one-time awards commemorating 75 years of India’s independence on 86 artistes, apart from selecting 128 performing artistes from various fields for its regular annual awards for the years 2019-21.
The 86 awardees for the one-time prizes, named Sangeet Natak Akademi Amrit Awards, including artistes who are above the age of 75 years and haven’t been accorded any national honour in their career so far in the field of the performing arts. The award carries a purse of ₹1,00,000.
The Amrit awardees are from across the country, including five from Tamil Nadu — R. Ramani for Carnatic veena, V.A.K. Rangarao for dance music, Sundaresan Ramamurthy for theatre, Purusai Subramanuim for Terukoothu and Achalapuram Chinnatambi for nagaswaram. The awardees also include five artistes each from Karnataka and Kerala and four from Telangana.
The general council of the Akademi at a meeting on November 6-8 also selected ten eminent personalities as fellows. The prestigious fellowship is restricted to 40 at any given time. At present the number stands at 39, including those who have been selected this year.
Saroja Vaidyanathan, Sadanam Krishnam Kutty, Darshana Jhaveri, Channulal Mishra, A.K.C. Natarajan, Swapan Chaudhuri, Malini Rajurkar, T.V. Gopalakrishnan, Teejan Bai and Bharat Gupt are those selected as fellows.
The General Council of the Akademi also selected 128 artistes from the fields of music, dance, theatre, folk, tribal and puppetry for the Sangeet Natak Akademi awards, better known as the Akademi Puraskars, for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021. These include three joint awards.
While the Akademi fellowship carries a purse of ₹3,00,000, for the Akademi Puraskar it is ₹1,00,000.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards will be conferred by the President of India at a special investiture ceremony
Apart from this, the Akademi announced the names of 102 young artistes for the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021. These include three joint awards.
This award, given to artists below the age of 40 years, was introduced with the objective of identifying and encouraging outstanding young talents in diverse fields of performing arts and giving them national recognition early in their life, so that they may work with greater commitment and dedication in their chosen fields. The awardees include 19 from the northeastern States. The award carries a purse of ₹25,000.