Bollywood veteran Dharmendra and noted classical singer Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan are the recipients of this year's Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Awards.
The names were announced by melody queen Lata Mangeshkar at a press conference at her residence this evening.
The awards carry a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and a citation. The distribution function will be held in Thane on April 24, the 69th death anniversary of her father, Master Dinanath.
Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan is being honoured with `Master Dinanath award' and Dharmendra with `Master Dinanath Mangeshkar' special award.
This year a new award for contribution to the theatre has been instituted in the memory of Mohan Wagh and first recipient would be Sudhir Bhat of Suyog production group, for the play Wa guru.
Noted poet Pravin Davne will get the Saraswati award, given in the memory of poetess Shanta Shelke. Noted actor Prasad Savkar has been chosen for Master Dinanath Special award for his contribution to the field of theatre. Mahesh Elkunchwar has been selected for the Wagvilasini award for his contribution in the field of literature. Nitin Veerkhare has been selected for his contribution in social work.
The awards were instituted in 1986 by Dinanath Mangeshkar memorial trust which is also instrumental in providing financial assistance to poor and needy artistes.
"Commercialisation of awards is not good. We honour our father's memory by helping needy artistes," she said.
The legendary singer said her father passed away in 1942 and within two three months, she started working to support the family. "It has been 69 years that I am working. I have learnt to keep goodness and honesty in work."
To a question whether the trust plans to honour child artistes, she said if children started getting awards, their growth as artistes would be hampered. "I would like them to grow up and work hard and then get honoured," she added.
When asked whether Sachin Tendulkar should get Bharat Ratna, Lata, herself a recipient of the highest civilian award, and an avowed fan of the batting maestro, said, "it is best to leave issues in the purview of the government to the government only."
April 24 also happens to be Tendulkar's birthday, but when asked if she planned to honour him during the function, Lata said she would not like to mix two separate events.
When asked about Anna Hazare, she said she was happy that his agitation was a success.
Replying to a question if the Dinanath Memorial trust would venture into filmmaking, Lata said she tried her hand at filmmaking with Lekin. "The film's print was stolen. It did not do well at the box office. (Then) We decided to give up the idea of making movies."
Lata said Mumbai was a golden city in the 1940s and 1950s. "Now the city has undergone changes which are bad. Earlier, there was peace and no fear. There was inspiration and excitement to work. I used to travel from Grant Road to Malad by train and even at night. I don't think today women will be able to travel without fear at night."
To a question why she did not sing for films anymore, Lata said nowadays only item numbers worked. "Even good singers are out of work. I decided not to do films because there are no good songs."
Mangeshkar Award for Ghulam Mustafa, Dharmendra
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