GUWAHATI: The Assam government will confer national-level Srimanta Sankardeva Award 2017 to Barpeta Xatra Burha Xatriya Basistha Dev Sarma. Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal will present the prestigious award at a function at Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, Guwahati on September 26. Health, finance and education minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, cultural affairs minister Naba Kumar Doley will also be present at the event.
The award carries cash Rs. 5 lakh, a gold medal and a citation. The Assam government instituted this national-level award in 1986. Though earlier, Srimanta Sankardeva Award was presented annually, it was made triennial from 2008.
Basistha Dev Sarma who was born in 1938 at Sundaridiya Satra of Barpeta has made immense contributions towards preserving Vaishnavite cultures and traditions of the state. He performed ‘Bhortal nritya’ in ‘Era bator xur’, a 1956 feature film directed by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. He has been also performing holigeet, naokhel geet, nam kirtan, ghosa, borgeet in the All India Radio, Guwahati since 1965.