Chennai, Aug 14:
The Kalaimamani awards were awarded to the artistes by the Chief Minister on Tuesday. As many as 201 recipients were selected from 72 different art forms received the awards. Veteran actor Vyjayanthimala Bali, veteran writer Sivasankari, actors Karti and Prasanna were among 200 artistes, who received various awards including Kalaimamani for 2011-18 from Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at a function here on Tuesday.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced the institution of three special Kalaimamani awards in the name of former CM Jayalalithaa.
The Chief Minister announced that hereafter, three special Kalaimamani awards would be presented to talented artistes every year and the Kalaimamani award would carry a five-sovereign gold medal instead of three sovereigns from next year.
Besides, the monthly pension being given to the elderly artistes would be hiked from Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000.
Stating that since its inception, as many as 1,594 artistes had so far received the Kalaimamani award, Palaniswami said 201 artistes had been chosen from 72 art forms for various awards.
Besides, eight elderly artistes have been given financial assistance of Rs. 25,000 each considering their economic background and three organizations who strove for the propagation of different art forms were honored with shields.
While Vyjayanthimala Bali received the Balasaraswathi award for Bharathanatyam, writer Sivasankari and Villupattu Subbu Arumugam received the Bharathi award. Well-known Bharathanatyam teachers VP Dhananjayan and his wife received the Balasaraswathi award while Bombay Sisters C Saroja and C Lalitha received MS Subbulakshmi award for Carnatic musicians.
Actor Kutti Padmini, T Rajashree, Sasikumar, Srikkanth, comedians Suri and Thambi Ramaiah, choreographer Puliyur S Saroja, art critics Harikesanallur Venkatraman and music director Yuvan Shankar Raja were among those who have received the Kalaimamani award.
Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal presided over the function. Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture K Pandiarajan was among those who spoke on the occasion.