The Punjab Arts Council honoured eminent personalities of art, literary and cultural spheres with ‘PUNJAB GAURAV PURASKAR’ on the concluding day of 5 day Randhawa Utsav here at Kala Bhawan, Sector-16. The occasion was celebrated as ‘Baisakhi Swag’. The Governor of Punjab Mr. V.P. Singh Badnore was the Chief Guest while the Tourism & Cultural Affairs Minister, Punjab, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu presided over the occasion.The concluding ceremony was begun by Mr. Badnore and Mr. Sidhu. In his address on the occasion, Mr. Badnore said that Baisakhi has not only religious significance but it is also deeply connected with the peasantry of Punjab who celebrate it in a joyous manner when their crop gets ripened. He also congratulated the personalities selected for the award while lauding this unique initiative of the arts council.Addressing on the occasion, Tourism & Cultural Affairs Minister, Punjab, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu said that the personalities associated with the art, literary and cultural fields have contributed a great deal in keeping the originality of Punjabi culture intact. He also divulged that the first and foremost agenda of the department is to frame a strong cultural policy so as to herald a cultural movement. He also elaborated that connecting the modern day young generation with the rich cultural heritage of Punjab in this internet age would be his priority. He exuded confidence that he would successfully accomplish the responsibility placed on his shoulders with active co-operation of all.
On the occasion, Mr. Badnore and Mr. Sidhu honoured 3 personalities selected by arts council namely Litterateur Kirpal Singh Kasel, Oma Gurbaksh (Theatre) and Artist Paramjit Singh with the ‘Punjab Gaurav Puraskar’. Apart from this, 3 academies associated with arts council honoured a luminary each which included Sculptor Avtarjit Singh Dhanjal (Lalit Kala Academy Puraskar), Poet Dr. Surjit Patar (Punjabi Sahit Academy Puraskar) and famous actress Preeti Sapru (Punjabi Sangeet Natak Academy Puraskar). These doyens were presented cash prizes, phulkari, commendation letter, momento and a bouquet. The occasion also saw Pammi Bai, Nachhattar Gill, Preet Harpal, Kaur B, Sukhi Brar, Kanth Kaler and Dolly Guleria being honoured who also regaled the audiences with their performances. In the end, Arts Council Chairperson Satinder Satti honoured Mr. Badnore and Mr. Sidhu besides profusely thanking all the guests and artists. The occasion was made memorable by the presentation of Punjabi folk songs with the assistance of folk orchestra by Raunak Band and Baisakhi Mela by Peter Sodhi group which beautifully presented folk dances of Punjab in all their splendor. The job of stage anchoring was brilliantly performed by Dr. Satish Verma.Others present on the occasion also included General Secretary of Arts Council Dr. Lakhwinder Singh Johal and Senior Vice Chairman Engineer S.S. Virdi.