Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's wife Shameema Dev Azad received Kalpana Chawala Excellence Award in the field of singing at a function organized by Punjab Engineering College in New Delhi on Thursday evening.
Kalpana Chawla excellence awards were instituted last year in memory of the Indian-born US astronaut who perished in the the crash of US space shuttle Columbia in 2003.
Outstanding personalities are honoured for their extraordinary contribution in fields like, science, education, social service and music.
Shameema who has made her mark in the field of singing was specially selected for her melodious voice and musical albums dealing with the social, cultural and human issues.
On receiving the award, she said: "It was a privilege to be considered for this award, as this is named after an Indian who made her mark all over the world by her spirit to explore universe”
"Kalpana Chawla embodied the spirit of excellence. She rose to stars and died as a heroine. She lives for ever, for her work inspires all of us,” Shameema Dev Azad said.
Shameema's music videos and audiocassettes on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir have been a great hit all across the State.
She has stirred the conscience of many in Kashmir by her moving musical albums, drawing attention of the people of Kashmir toward the devastation caused by the 18-year turmoil in this Himalayan state .
While her songs have reflected on miseries caused by the turmoil and the natural disasters, she has also sent out a message of hope and peace to the masses, appealing to their capacity to bounce back in the fields of education, science . Her music video albums have also focused on the mutual respect and collective cultural heritage of the peoples of all the three regions of the State.
Shameema has been singing for the past over three decades , She had first started singing in Kashmiri, but of late her contribution has extended to Urdu, Punjabi and Dogri songs.
She has already been awarded Padam Shree for her contribution. In October last year, she was awarded the highest musical award of Kashmir, "Shair-e-Kashmir Mehjoor
"Now my only ambition is to bring about social changes for better and make the people of my state and rest of the country realize the virtues of co-existence,” she said.