Bharat Ratna recipient Lata Mangeshkar conferred the 72nd Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Awards to social activist Anna Hazare, musician Zakir Hussain, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor and other prominent personalities at a function here.
The award – now in its silver jubilee year – carries a memento, citation and cash prize of Rs.100,000 each.
“We commemorate my father’s death anniversary as ‘Smriti Din’ April 24 every year. These awards are given to eminent people in the field of cinema, music, theatre, literature and social work,” said Lata Mangeshkar who personally felicitated each of the awardee Thursday night.
The legendary singer recalled how actor Rishi Kapoor used to play in her arms as a two-year old toddler and later she watched all his movies.
Felicitaing Ustad Zakir Hussain, she said that she remembered him accompanying his father Ustad Allah Rakha who used to treat her like his daughter.
“Once I recorded six songs in a day for him for a movie… Today, I am so happy that Ustad Zakir Hussain has grown as a prominent artiste making us proud all over the world,” she said.
Hazare said that when Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar travelled to his village Ralegan-Siddhi in Ahmednagar, he could not refuse it.
“I told him he could have just telephoned me and I would have accepted it. Though in the past I have been offered an award with a cash prize of one crore rupees, I declined it as I was unsure of the organizers. But when the Mangeshkars approached me I had no doubts and I happily agreed,” Hazare said.
Some of the other personalities who were conferred the award include actor Shivaji Satam and Pandit Pandrinath Kolhapure.