Director and lyricist Geethapriya alias Lakshman Rao Mohite was awarded the Dr B Saroja Devi National Award for 2012, here on Saturday. The award also carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.
His debut film, the 1968 Rajkumar starrer Mannina Maga, won a National award; he has directed around 30 films and has won the Puttanna Kanagal Award. Actress Dr Saroja Devi, who presented the award to Geethapriya, said, “I am immensely pleased to present the award as it brings back old memories. I wonder if films like Mannina Maga will be ever made again. I wonder why such films are not being made anymore.”
This is the third year the award is being presented in association with the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Geethapriya, who could not speak due to health problems, expressed his happiness and thanked the film industry for recognising his efforts. He gave up his name Lakshman Rao Mohite and acquired a pen name that means “the one in love with songs.”
President of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce K V Chandrashekhar said the commerce department is sponsoring Geethapriya’s medical expenses and would do so to any artiste whose service to the industry is of immense value.