Siliguri: Legendary Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia was among the 10 luminaries from diverse fields honoured with the inaugural Banga-Samman award by the West Bengal government on Friday. The award is in recognition of their contribution to arts, culture, music and sports.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave the awards to the winners at the inaugural programme of the week-long North Bengal Festival.
The other achievers honoured were renowned poet Joy Goswami, actress Sandhya Roy, actor-turned-Trinamool MLA Chiranjit Chakroborty, Singer Nachiketa, athlete Hari Shankar Rai, theatre personality Hari Madhab Mukhopadhyay, writer Indra Bahadur Rai and theatre personality Bibhas Chakroborty.
"We are proud to give this award. Film director Anjan Dutta will also get this award. We congratulate all of them. The entire Bengal is proud of them," said Banerjee in her address.
Earlier after Trinamool Congress came to power, Banerjee had instituted the Banga-Vibhusan award to appreciate the achievements of various achievers in the field of arts, culture, music and sports.
Legendary singer Manna Dey and writer Mahasweta Devi are among the nine luminaries from diverse fields felicitated with the inaugural Banga-Vibhusan award. The other legends who were honoured were renowned danseuse Amala Shankar, sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, leading lady of yesteryear's Bengali cinema Supriya Devi, veteran actor Haradhan Bandopadhyay, iconic footballer and Asian Games gold medallist team captain Sailen Manna, famed singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay, and celebrated Rabindra Sangeet exponent Dwijen Mukhopadhyay.