Dr Uma Sharma felicitated with 'Sumitra Charat Ram Award'
In a ceremonial soiree hosted by 'Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra' (SBKK), this year's 'Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement' was presented to Kathak exponent Dr Uma Sharma (Padma Bhushan) by the chief guest Dr Karan Singh on November 17, 2022, at Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi, in the presence of the guest of honour, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan (Padma Vibhushan).
'Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement' was instituted by SBKK in 2010 to commemorate the huge contribution made by Sumitra Charat Ram (1914-2011) as a harbinger of cultural revival in post-independent India. On the night of August 14, 1947, as the country waited to wake up to a sun that rose in Free India, Sumitra Ji held an 'All Night Music Soirée' with the stalwarts of Indian music and dance to commemorate the momentous occasion.
In an event embellished with the presence of legends and enriched with high cultural distinction, Shobha Deepak Singh, the flag bearer of SBKK, welcomed connoisseurs of the arts. As she marched forward, holding her mother's legacy on her strong shoulders, she said, "Dr Uma Sharma is a renowned classical dancer who has been awarded the Padma Bhushan for her unique contribution to the cultural tradition of this country. She has revolutionised the repertoire of the classical form of Kathak by enriching it with literary and intellectual substance by drawing upon and interpreting the works of great poets of our country from ancient to modern times. In spearheading the transformation of this art form, Uma Sharma has been at the centre stage of events in the country. Her themes have etched out the colour of concern about issues that matter. We hold a lot of pride and are honored to present this prestigious award to Dr Uma Sharma."
Overwhelmed by receiving the award, Dr Uma Sharma said, "I am honoured to have been recognised for my efforts in the field of Kathak, which is my first love. It is my passion for this form of dance that has allowed me to take it through generations and help it evolve. Receiving 'Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement' today reinforces my belief in myself and a bright future for Kathak in India." She expressed the state of her heart in a beautiful performance at the end of the event.
For the last 11 years, 'Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement' has been presented to honour eminent artists who have made a lasting contribution to the field of Indian classical music and dance. The first award was presented to Pandit Birju Maharaj, the doyen of Kathak dance followed by Kishori Amonkar, Mayadhar Raut, Kumudini Lakhia, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Girija Devi, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and lastly to Dr Sonal Mansingh.