It was a memorable moment for legendary singer and Bharat Ratna award winner Lata Mangeshkar when she presented her sister, singer Usha, with the Lata Mangeshkar Award in Nerul on Saturday.
The occasion was the Torex Swar Mangesh Lata Mangeshkar award ceremony, which was also attended by Central Heavy Industries minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
The programme was organised by Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Natya Parishad, Navi Mumbai and Akhil Agri Koli Prabodhan Trust, Navi Mumbai along with Torque Pharmaceutical, Chandigarh. The award includes Rs 1 lakh cash and a citation.
Speaking on the occasion, Lata Mangeshkar said: “I am very glad that I have today given an award to Usha, who is the youngest of us four sisters. Hridaynath is younger to her.”
“I am the eldest. I have seen them grow up. I used to hold their hands and take them out,” said an emotional Lata.
“It was my father’s dream that we become singers. Today, all five of us sing. We have in our little way made a small contribution and realised his dream.”
In her acceptance speech, Usha Mangeshkar said: “This is the first award that I have got in didi’s name. A similar award earlier in her name was won by Asha in 1999. This is very special for me.”
Vilasrao Deshmukh, who has awarded an honourary doctorate degree earlier in the day, said: “Lata Mangeshkar is an institution and an inspiration for several generations. It was an honour to be present at the ceremony with her.”
Said Ramesh Kore, president of the Natya Parishad: “Getting Lata didi to Navi Mumbai for the award ceremony was a major achievement and honour for us all. It will help give a cultural face to the developing city.”
“We did not think twice before lending support to this programme when Lata didi’s name was mentioned. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Namdeo Bhagat, president of Agri Koli Trust, said.