Veteran Actor Ashok Saraf Honoured With Maharashtra Bhushan Award

Veteran Actor Ashok Saraf Honoured With Maharashtra Bhushan Award

The prestigious award comprised of a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, a medal and a citation

PTIUpdated: Friday, February 23, 2024, 09:15 AM IST
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Veteran actor Ashok Saraf, who has acted in more than 250 Marathi films and is known for his impeccable comic timing, was on Thursday night presented the Maharashtra Bhushan Award for 2023, the highest civilian honour of the state.

Saraf (75), in an acting career spanning nearly five decades, has also featured in several Hindi films and popular comedy drama television series 'Hum Paanch', among others.

The prestigious award, comprising a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, a medal and a citation, was presented to the celebrated actor at the 57th Maharashtra State Marathi Film Awards ceremony here by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Speaking at the ceremony, Shinde showered encomium on Saraf, saying "He is still young at 75 and yearns to do something new. He is the real diamond of Marathi soil." It is an honour and pride for the state government to present the award to Saraf, the CM said.

"The backlog (of state-level Marathi and Hindi film awards) for three years (pending due to coronavirus pandemic) was completed. We had to form government to present these awards," Shinde said.

The CM said his government was committed to provide modern facilities for film shootings in the state, whose capital Mumbai is the entertainment hub of the country.

In his acceptance speech, Saraf expressed happiness over receiving Maharashtra's top award.

"Maharashtra is my 'janmabhoomi' (birth place) and 'karmabhoomi' (workplace). I am grateful to all those who helped me in my 50-year-old career. Maharashtra's audience is intelligent and critical. Artists have to strike a balance...have to keep in mind what the audience will like," he stated.

At the ceremony, the Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime contribution to music for 2023 was given to noted singer Suresh Wadkar.

The Raj Kapoor Lifetime Achievement Award went to veteran actors Aruna Irani (for 2020) and Mithun Chakraborty (2021).

The V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award in Marathi cinema for 2020 was conferred posthumously on late actor-director Ravindra Mahajani. His son, actor Gashmir Mahajani, received the award. The same award for 2021 went to actress Usha Chavan. Filmmaker Vijay Kondke received the trophy on her behalf.

For 2022, the V Shantaram Award for Lifetime contribution to cinema was given to veteran actor Usha Naik.

Veteran actress Helen received the Raj Kapoor Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hindi cinema for 2022.

Well-known filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra was given the Raj Kapoor Award for Special Contribution to cinema for the year 2022.

Playback singer Sonu Nigam was given the Raj Kapoor Award for Special Contribution to cinema for 2023. Filmmaker JP Dutta was presented the Raj Kapoor Award for Special Contribution to films for 2022.

The V Shantaram Award for Special Contribution in Marathi cinema for 2020 went to filmmaker Rajendra Ahire, while playback singer Ravindra Sather and filmmaker Nagraj Manjule were given the honour for 2021 and 2022, respectively. PTI MR

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