GUWAHATI, Sept 5 - The KC Das Commerce College National Teacher Award and National Achiever Award, 2016, were presented to eminent teacher and folklorist Dr Birendranath Datta and renowned theatre director and chairperson of the National School of Drama Ratan Thiyam, respectively on the occasion of Teachers’ Day today.
Each of the awards carries a plaque, a citation, a book, a cheleng, a sharai and a cheque of Rs 1 lakh.
Dr Datta is a former president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha, a Padma Shree awardee and a doyen of Assamese song and music. Before joining the Gauhati University, he had served at B Borooah College, Guwahati; Pramathesh Barua College, Goalpara and Pandu College. Post retirement from the GU, he joined the Tezpur University and built up the Department of Traditional Culture and Art Forms.
Ratan Thiyam, a theatre personality of international repute, is also a Padma Shree and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee. A leading figure of the ‘theatre of roots movement’ in Indian theatre, he uses ancient theatre forms in a contemporary context.
Speaking as the chief guest of the occasion, eminent educationist Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury lauded the role played by the educational trust in honouring the prominent personalities who have set an example in their respective fields.
“Dr Datta, a dedicated teacher, has been the guiding light for his students and is an asset to the State. His contributions in the field of teaching and research are of immense value and it is a very timely step taken by the trust to bestow this honour on him,” Dr Choudhury said.
“Ratan Thiyam, on the other hand, has done the North East proud through his enormous contributions in the field of theatre,” he added.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Datta said teaching has always been his passion and obsession. “It gives me a sense of joy and fulfilment that is beyond explanation. There are challenging moments in this profession, but, you never encounter a dull moment. For a teacher, the process of teaching and learning is a two-way traffic, and I have always benefited while teaching and simultaneously learning from my students,” he stated.
Thiyam also lauded the role of teachers, stressing the challenges they face in the present technology-driven society. “Technology has given us comfort, but also adversely affected human relations. It is now more difficult to teach a person to become a good human being, though we can produce any number of doctors, MBAs and engineers.”