GUWAHATI, Jan 25 - Eminent art and theatre personality of Manipur Heisnam Kanhailal (Art-Theatre) was today selected for the Padma Bhushan Award, while four distinguished persons of the State � senior journalist DN Bezboruah (Literature and Education), educationist Prahlad Chandra Tasa (Literature and Education), writer Dr Kameshwar Brahma (Literature, Education and Journalism) and Ajoy Kumar Dutta (Social Work) � were chosen for the Padma Shree Award today.
Two other personalities from the North East � Tokheho Sema (Public Affairs) of Nagaland and Prof Veena Tandon (Science and Engineering) of Meghalaya � were among those chosen for the Padma Shree.
A total of 112 persons have been approved for conferment of the Padma Awards by President Pranab Mukherjee.
The list comprises 10 Padma Vibhushan, 19 Padma Bhushan and 83 Padma Shree awardees. Nineteen of the awardees are women, and the list also includes 10 persons in the category of foreigners, NRIs and PIOs.
Reacting to the news of conferment of Padma Shree on him, senior journalist and former chairman of the Editors� Guild of India, DN Bezboruah told The Assam Tribune that while he accepted it as a recognition, he was not particularly elated over it.
�I am past the stage when a person gets euphoric about awards and honours. Still, it�s a recognition even though it was least expected � more so because I have been a vocal critic of governments, both at the Centre and in the State. I am more happy to have received an overwhelming number of phone calls from friends and well-wishers, congratulating me on the Padma Award. It�s really good to know that I have so many friends even at his age,� Bezboruah, who was the founder Editor of the acclaimed Daily The Sentinel, said.
Dr Kameshwar Brahma, president of Bodo Sahitya Sabha, said that it was the people�s goodwill that got him the award. �I attribute the recognition to people�s goodwill. I am happy to have been chosen for the honour. I have been serving people for a long time, and will continue with my mission,� he said.
Dr Brahma, who has been the president of Bodo Sahitya Sabha since 2008, was also associated with Asam Sahitya Sabha. He is also a former Principal of Gossaigaon College.
The Bodo Sahitya Sabha has in the meantime extended its congratulations to Dr Brahma.
Social worker Ajoy Dutta said that he was surprised to hear the news but was happy with it.
�I am a grassroots-level worker, and I never thought I would get such a big honour. Hence, I would share this with all my fellow social workers who have dedicated themselves to the cause of society. I also thank the media in general and The Assam Tribune group in particular for supporting my work,� he said.
A social activist based in Guwahati, Dutta has been raising his voice on several important issues concerning the State and society.
Associated with a number of organisations and NGOs, he was an MLA from East Guwahati in 1978 and also a Councilor of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation.