Guwahati, Monday, January 18, 2010
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Silpi Bota conferred on Dipali Barthakur, Archana Mahanta
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Jan 17 – Eminent singers Dipali Barthakur and Archana Mahanta were today honoured with the Silpi Bota-2010. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi formally presented the awards to the artistes at a well-attended function at the Rabindra Bhavan this evening.

Receiving the award, the artistes said that it was an honour to be associated with an award named after Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala, a cultural doyen of the State.

Chief Minister Gogoi in his speech stressed the need for promoting the State’s rich cultural heritage in its varied forms and pledged the Government’s commitment to nurturing, preserving, and showcasing it before a global audience.

Gogoi also said that the State Government was contemplating to set up a Cultural Akademi in the line of the Sangeet Natak Akademi besides a Jyoti-Bishnu Cultural University.

“We are also in the process of setting up Jyoti-Bishnu cultural complexes in five blocks incurring a cost of Rs 30 lakh, and plan to have such complexes at every block of the State,” he said.

Appealing to the people to lend a helping hand to the Government’s initiatives in the sphere of culture, Gogoi said that greater cooperation from the public would boost the Government’s efforts.

Recalling the contributions of Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad in diverse fields such as literature, music, art, social service, etc., the Chief Minister said that Assam and its people had been lucky to have had a multi-faceted genius like Jyotiprasad in their midst.

“The Rupkonwar left an indelible imprint on whatever he touched, and in fact, effected a cultural renaissance in the State through his pursuits for creative excellence,” he said.

Director, Cultural Affairs, SP Kakati Bora, also addressed the gathering.

Instituted in 1999, the award is given annually to two luminaries from the arena of culture, and carries a citation, a sarai, a shawl and Rs 1 lakh each.

The Chief Minister also formally flagged off a ‘Cultural Integration Yatra’ organised by the Centre for Cultural Integration with support of the Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Assam.

Noted artist Neelpawan Baruah and eminent singer Khagen Mahanta – husbands of Dipali Barthakur and Archana Mahanta respectively – and Deva Kumar Bora, Press adviser to the Chief Minister, also shared the dais.