The Sanskriti Awards 2008 were presented on Friday evening to emerging talents from journalism, literature, art, music and social work.
The fairer sex ruled the awards with all five awardees being women. Hindustan Times Mumbai Correspondent Chitrangada Choudhury (27) was awarded for her contribution to journalism. She was also the youngest person to receive an award this year.
Inderjit Nandan (34) received the award for literature, Ranjani Shettar (31) for art and the sister duo Ranjani (35) and Gayatri (32) for music.
Ability Unlimited India — the nation’s first professional dance theatre to tap the potential of differently-abled people — received the award for outstanding social achievement.
Choudhury has primarily reported stories from Mumbai, while also covering issues from other states, including Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Her reportage primarily focused on public policies and how they played out in individual lives.
She talked about how passionate she felt about her profession that gave her an opportunity to meet many interesting people and explore some of the most beautiful places in the country.
“I hope from this evening onwards, my mom won’t ask me to leave this profession,” she joked.
Inderjit Nandan stole everyone’s heart because of the immense strength she exuded despite suffering from polio.
“I am thankful to the jury for appreciating Punjabi as a language by conferring the award on me,” said Nandan, who also recited two of her poems.
She is the only Punjabi writer who has given Punjabi literature its first-ever epic poem based on Bhagat Singh’s life.
Ranjani Shettar, who received the award for art, is known for employing organic materials invested with tradition and history in creating pieces of art.
“My parents were the first to spot my talent –– even before I realised myself that I was drawn towards art,” said Shettar.