The prestigious Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikar & Kalakiran Puraskars 2013 for excellence in “Hindustan Classical Vocal” was held this year on 13th November at Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point. Amongst the illustrious winners selected this year were Dr. Girija Devi for Kalashikhar Puraskar for life time achievement inHindustani Classical Vocal and Smt Kaushiki Chakrabarty, Smt Gauri Pathare and Smt Yashaswi Sirpotdar for Kalakiran Puraskar for being most promising Hindustani Classical Vocal artists. The awards were presented by His Excellency, Shri K. Sankaranarayan, Governor of Maharashtra, in the presence of Ms Rajashree Birla, Shri Kumar Mangalam Birla and Neerja Birla.
Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Sangit Kala Kendra, Aditya Birla Awards, stated, “It is certainly a really unique evening, as we collect here for the presentation of the Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar, and Kalakiran Puraskars, this evening. This is the 17th year of the Sangit Kala Kendra Awards, instituted as a fitting testament to my husband Aditya Vikram Birla, the Founder of the Sangit Kala Kendra.
This evening evokes some extremely fond memories in me of Adityaji, and his adore of the performing arts, which led to the setting up of this fine Institution. His humane qualities, his compassionate capitalism, his commitment to make a difference to the underprivileged, are the stuff that tends to make for a legend. And most of you, are possibly familiar with this portion of his persona.
But there was an additional side to him. He had a tremendous zest for life, for enjoyable. He loved to sing, to paint, to cook, to fly an aircraft. He was a genius who lived life to the fullest”.
She added that, “Even as Adityaji was a man who attempted his hand at everything, he believed in perfection. I really vividly recall his words and I quote – “Sprint against your self. Endeavour to outperform. Raise the bar, time right after time”. Unquote. It is this spirit that underlines the Sangit Kala Kendra’s activities. It is this spirit that permeates the Sangit Kala Kendra Awards, that shall be presented this evening”.
Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency Shri K. Sankaranarayan, Governor of Maharashtra, stated, “I congratulate the Sangit Kala Kendra and more specifically the silent spirit behind it, Smt Rajashree Birla. I have observed the passion and commitment that drives Smt Rajashree Birla. I have seen her involvement and dedication towards causes like Eradication of Polio, construction of homes for the poor tribals and other regions. Smt Rajashree Birla is a noble soul and a great human being.”
Javed Ali performed his common Bollywood numbers that incorporated, “Kehne ko Jashn Bahara hai”, “Tu hi Haqeeqat”, “Maula Maula” and many a lot more.
Sangit Kala Kendra (SKK) instituted in the year 1996, the “Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar” in memory of its founder President. This award is conferred on as artist in the visual or performing arts for lifetime achievement and comprises a cash award of Rupees two Lacs, a memento and scroll honour. The Kalakiran puraskar comprises of a money award of Rupees Fifty Thousand, a memento and a scroll of honour.
More than these 15 years, both the Kalashikhar and Kalakiran awards have turn out to be, aspirational for artists, in the domain of performing arts. The awards have attained fantastic stature, thanks to the robust and transparent judging process, and to the eminent panel of judges, who name the awardees.
In the recent past, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Lata Mangeshkar and Pandit Kelucharan Mohapatra have been proud recipients of the Kalashikhar Puraskar.
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