President confers Sunil Gangopadhyay Award
President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday presented the first 'Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Award' for Excellence in Bengali Literature to eminent poets and litterateurs Nirendranth Chakravarti for the year 2012 and Sankha Ghosh for the year 2013 respectively at an award function here at the Raj Bhavan.
The Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Award was instituted in 2012 by The Bengal, a Kolkata-based leading non-governmental organization, following the demise of its immediate past President Late Sunil Gangopadhyay.
The Award, which includes a citation, shawl and a cash component of Rs 2 lakh is for rewarding outstanding work and contribution to the Bengali literature, and is sponsored by Shree Cement Limited.
The award function was organised by The Bengal, which is a group of conscientious and eminent citizens of Bengal, drawn by the common zeal for social good and community service.
Late Prabha Khaitan and Late Paritosh Sen were the two founding members.
From its inception, The Bengal has been represented by leading men and women who are experts in their respective fields - may it be education, industry, art, culture, fine arts or performing arts – and share a sense of social commitment.
Award-winning Indian poet, novelist and academic Nabanita Dev Sen gave the welcome speech.
Congratulating The Bengal for instituting the Award in the memory of Late Sunil Gangopadhyay, one of Bengal's leading contemporary litterateur, and expressing his fondness for poetry and literature, Pranab Mukherjee said, “This is a rare honour for me to present this Award in memory of Late Sunil Gangopadhyay. Sunil Gangopadhyay may not be with us any more, but the literary spirit that he kindled would be carried on by Shri Nirendranth Chakravarti and Shri Sankha Ghosh.”
“Sunil Gangopadhyay set a new literary trend by taking a road less travelled. He has given us a new direction for which he would be remembered forever,” said Nirendranth Chakravarti in his address.
Sheriff (designate) of Kolkata and actor, Ranjit Mullick recounted fond memories of “Sunil da” and his love for films.
"Instituting an award in the name of a legend is more than just a tribute. It motivates others to imbibe the legends whose works are remembered for posterity,” said Sundeep Bhutoria, Secretary General, The Bengal.
Gargi Roychowdhury, a committee member of The Bengal, rendered the welcome song on the occasion.
Goutam Ghose, Board Member of The Bengal, recited a poem of Late Sunil Gangopadhyay at the Award function.
Jogen Chowdhury, Working President, The Bengal, delivered the vote of thanks at the function.
Also present were M K Narayanan, Governor of West Bengal; Arup Biswas, Housing Minister and Hari Mohan Bangur, Chairman of The Bengal along with host of eminent dignitaries and guests.
(Posted on 11-01-2014)