GUWAHATI, July 31 � The Natasurya Phani Sarma Award 2011 was conferred on eminent actor, lyricist and dedicated theatre activist Hasan Sharif Ahmed and the Sahityacharya Atul Chandra Hazarika Award 2011 was presented to well known radio, stage, small and silver screen actress Bina Prasad.
The award each carries a cheque for Rs one lakh and a citation. At a function held at Rabindra Bhawan here this evening by the Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Assam, the artistes were honoured with the awards.
It needs to be mentioned that Hasan Sharif Ahmed�s lyrics have been sung by many luminaries including the maestro Dr Bhupen Hazarika. Ahmed�s dedication to theatre gave the much-needed impetus to the theatre movement in the State and that too in a scientific way. Accepting the award with gratefulness, Ahmed recalled his association with the illustrious sons of the soil like Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha, Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala and others. He said that under the prevailing situation in the State, all the people of the cultural world must come together to resist the nefarious forces trying to destabilise Assam.
Versatile actress Bina Prasad, who began her career with radio plays, has been equally efficient on the stage and the small screen. She translated her rendezvous with the silver screen with Niyati and went on to act in several movies like Sutrapat, Abhiman, etc. She expressed her
happiness on being presented the award and said that it was a generous gesture on the part of the Government to honour her with the award. �My contribution is very humble, but the Government has honoured me and this has made me very happy,� she said.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Cultural Affairs, Pranati Phukan threw light on the life and contributions of Phani Sarma and Atul Chandra Hazarika.
She also released an artistes� directory and a departmental manual. On behalf of the Chief Minister who is on a visit to abroad, Phukan presented the award to Bina Prasad.
Revenue Minister Prithibi Majhi presented the award to Ahmed on behalf of the Chief Minister. Addressing the gathering, Majhi dwelt at length on the lesser known facets of both Phani Sarma and Atul Chandra Hazarika and described them as reformers in their respective fields.