BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Natya Sangha, a body of theatre organisations, has written to the Chief Minister and Culture Department to recommend theatre artistes from the State to the Central Government for national awards.
In a memorandum to the State Government, members of the Natya Sangha said though the State has produced a good number of theatre artistes over the years, none has been nominated for Padmashree or Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award. The last Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award in the field was conferred on Samuel Sahu in 1961.
“It is sad to see that none from the field of theatre has been honoured with any national award from the Government despite presence of so many theatre groups and established artistes in the State. We have requested the State Government to recommend the names of theatre artistes for the awards,” said Abhinna Routray, secretary of Odisha Natya Sangha.
Secretary of Culture Department Arvind Padhee said the representation from the organisation has been received and will be presented before the State Government for necessary action. “The Department has never hesitated from recommending any artiste’s name to the Central Government for Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award or Padmashree, be it from the performing arts field or visual arts. The selection is entirely the Central Government’s prerogative,” Padhee said.
Some of the veteran theatre personalities that the State has produced over the years include Bijoy Mishra, Byomakesh Tripathy and Dukhiram Swain, among others.