Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday presented the ‘Banga Samman’ awards to 20 stalwarts in various disciplines and organisations and expressed hope the state would makes a mark globally.
“We want our cultural world, our films, our literature to make a mark in the international arena. Those who are present here are stalwarts in their own fields. We are proud that we could felicitate them,” Banerjee said at the award ceremony here.
The second highest category ‘Banga Bivushan Sammana’ was given to Indian classical singer Girija Devi, Bangladeshi Nazrul Geet singer Feroza Begum (posthumously) and the Ramakrishna Mission.
Other recipients of the award include instrumentalists Manilal Nag and Buddhadeb Dasgupta, tabla player Shankar Ghosh, former Indian Army chief Gen. Shankar Roy Chowdhry (retd.), singers Kabir Suman and Rashid Khan and litterateur Dibyendu Palit.
In the fields of sports and industry, the award went to ex-footballer Syed Naeemuddin, tennis ace Leander Paes and industrialists S.B. Ganguli and Sanjeev Goenka. Leading production house Venkatesh Films and social worker Lyangsong Tamang also received the award.
The awards for Indian bodybuilder Manohar Aich and author Ramapada Chowdhry will be handed over to them at their residences, Banerjee said.
Al-Ameen Mission (a residential institute for Muslim students located near Howrah), Trinamool Congress MP and actor Dev, filmmaker Shoojit Sircar and leading Baul exponent Kartik Das Baul were accorded the ‘Banga Bhushan Samman’.
Poet Subodh Sarkar, critical care expert Subrata Maitra, consultant paeditrician Tridib Banerjee, filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly and Nima Wangdi Sherpa, the president of the All Sherpa Association from Darjeeling and Terai Dooars were honoured with this award.
Chess player Surya Sekhar Ganguly, cricketer Laxmiratan Shukla, cricketer Manoj Tewari, body builder Tushar Shil, instrumentalist Tejendra Narayan Majumdar and indologist Kalyanbrata Chakraborty also received the ‘Banga Bhusan Samman’.
The Trinamool Congress government confers the annual Banga Samman award on this day, which marks the anniversary of its coming to power in 2011.