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Eminent classical singer late Girija Devi will be honoured with the prestigious Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement on November 17 here. The award will be presented by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) to the thumri maestro's daughter, Sudha Datta, at Kamani Auditorium. "It is with a heavy heart that we are presenting this award posthumously.
She sang at the Kendra's Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival only in March this year and little did one know that her words that time would be prophetic," Shobha Deepak Singh, director Sriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra (SBKK), said. The 'Thumri Queen', who passed away last month, in her performance at SBKK in March had said 'I don't know for how long I'll sing, but singing here is always like homecoming'. The octogenarian singer was a part of the SBKK family since 1952 when the Kendra was founded. The award was instituted six years ago in the memory of Delhi's well-known art patron, Sumitra Charat Ram, by her daughter Shobha Deepak Singh. In previous years, the award has been given to artistes like Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Jasraj, Kishori Amonkar, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia among others. Padma Vibhushan awardee Girija Devi was a celebrated classical singer of the Seniya and Benaras gharana. She performed classical and light classical music and helped elevate the profile of thumri. The Sumitra Charat Ram Award is given to those individuals who have shown great contribution in the field of Indian classical dance and music or other disciplines of Indian art and culture including theatre during the last 15 years and who have had a significant impact in promoting a particular art form.
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