Ganguly, Mithun, Rituparno Given Bangabibhusan Award

Ganguly, Mithun, Rituparno Given Bangabibhusan Award

Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, Olympian footballers P K Banerjee and Chuni Goswami, actor Mithun Chakraborty and dancer Thankamani Kutti were among the 24 celebrities who were today conferred the 3rd Bangabibhusan award instituted by the West Bengal government.

The awards, comprising a citation and Rs two lakh each, were presented by Governor M K Narayanan at a function attended by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Industrialist B K Birla, a recipient of the award, could not be present as he was abroad, Banerjee said.

Other awardees were scientist Dr Samir Brahmachari, film maker Rituparno Ghosh, football legend Tulsidas Balaram, mountaineer Aung Narvu Sherpa, yesteryears' actors Sandhya Roy and Sabitri Chatterjee, singers Purnadas Baul, Nirmala Mishra and Pratul Mukherjee, veteran journalist Amitabha Chowdhury, painter Subhaprasanna and hockey Olympian Gurbux Singh, lawyers Shaktinath Mukherjee and Kashikanta Moitra and eminent historian Hossainur Rahman.

Besides, social worker D C Murmu, players like Leander Paes (tennis), Dibyendu Barua (chess), Poulami Ghatak and Mantu Ghosh (both table tennis players) and former India women's cricket captain Jhulan Goswami were conferred this year's 'Bangabhusan' award.

The recipients were given a citation and Rs one lakh each, official sources said.

Earlier, legendary playback singer Manna Dey, litterateur and human rights activist Mahasweta Devi, sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, dancer Amala Shankar and others were given the award instituted by the West Bengal government after Mamata Banerjee came to power in 2011.

On the occasion, Banerjee said, "Work for turning around the state in the path of development has begun."

"As the government steps into its third year, we dedicate this day to Ma, Mati, Manush (mother, country and people)," she said.

Governor M K Narayanan commended Banerjee for instituting the awards after coming to power in 2011.

"I commend the chief minister for conferring this award to a select list of celebrities who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields through their outstanding contribution to the society and nation," he said.

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