Former Indian soccer captain Bhaichung Bhutia and Satyajit Ray's "Charulata" Madhabi Mukherjee were among 33 eminent people honoured with West Bengal's highest civilian awards to mark the third anniversary of the Trinamool Congress government on Tuesday.
Governor M.K. Narayanan and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee conferred the "Bangabibhusan" on 13 eminent people while 20 others were honoured with the "Bangabhusan" for their outstanding contribution in respective fields.
Among the "Bangabibhusan" recipients were Lepcha tribal leader Sonam Tshering Lepcha, vocalist Arun Bhaduri, "jatra" (folk theatre) group Natta Company's proprietor Makhanlal Natta, physician Sukumar Mukherjee, film stars Madhabi Mukhopadhyay and Dipankar De, Justice M. Abdul Gani, writer Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, educationist Felix Raj, singers Haimanti Shukla and Mohan Singh, and dancer Alakananda Roy.
Those honoured with the "Bangabhusan" award included Bhutia, former soccer internationals Bidesh Bose, Goutam Sarkar, Shabbir Ali and Shyam Thapa, sarod maestro Tejendranarayan Majumder, social activist M.Abdul Wahab, journalist Bachan Singh Saral and tribal leader Birsa Tirkey.
Other "Bangabhusan" awardees were actors Debashree Roy and Aparajita Adya, singers Srikanta Acharya, Indranil Sen, Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta, Indrani Sen, Lopamudra Mitra, cricketers Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Manoj Tiwary, and chess grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister promised to build the state as a model for the rest of India to emulate.