Mumbai, Feb 10 (IANS) Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has presented the prestigious Aditya Birla Kalashikhar and Kalakiran Puraskar (awards) 2012 at a glittering function here, an official said here Sunday.
Chavan Saturday evening lauded the contribution of Aditya Birla to the industrial development of the state and the country.
He also appreciated the group's support to artistes and performing arts through the awards, and assured the state's full support in such philanthropic ventures.
In her inaugural speech, Sangit Kala Kendra chairperson Rajashree Birla said Chavan was a part of the Birla family, having graduated from Birla Institute of Technology & Science.
Chavan gave away the Kalashikhar awards to top performing artistes Yamunabai V. Jawle, 98, and R. Nageswara Rao.
Jawle, the awardee for lifetime achievement in performing folk arts, was so moved by the honour that she broke into a Lavni song attracting a resounding round of applause from the august gathering.
Kalakiran awards were given to Durgabai Vyam, Dineschandra Kumhar, Anandilal Kurmi and Umar Fahrukh Mewati for being the most promising folk artistes.
The evening was topped by a multi-language musical extravaganza performed by Kolkata troupe, 'Dhwani' on the theme of national integration.
The Sangit Kala Kendra was founded in 1973 by the late Aditya Vikram Birla to encourage and nurture the various performing arts. Since its inception, the centre has been presenting prestigious art events and acquired recognition as one of the premier cultural institutions of the country.
In 1996, the Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar were instituted, each carrying a cash award of Rs.2,00,000, a memento and a scroll of honour.
The Kalakiran Puraskar carried a cash award of Rs.50,000 plus a memento and a scroll of honour.
Some of the past Kalashikhar Puraskar recipients include Pandit Jasraj, M.F. Husain, Lata Mangeshkar and Pandit Kelucharan Mohapatra.