Assamese filmmaker Barua wins 1st Bhupen Hazarika Award

Acclaimed Assamese filmmaker and nine-time National award winner Jahnu Barua was conferred with the Bhupen Hazarika National Award by Pune-based NGO Sarhad on Sunday. The NGO, which has been working for 25 years to connect people from border areas to the mainstream, instituted the annual award this year in the name of award-winning singer Bhupen Hazarika who passed away last year.

The award was presented by former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta at S M Joshi Hall. The NGO, which works towards connecting Maharashtra with various conflict areas, including the north-east, has decided to confer the award to those personalities from the north-east who have been trying to connect the region with the rest of the country in their respective fields.

An emotional Barua said, "Bhupen Hazarika is one of the most revered name in the North-east. It is a great honour to receive this award." Barua received Rs 51,000, a trophy and a citation.

"Jahnu Barua has rendered valuable service to this region by dealing with several social, cultural issues of the north-east in his films like Halodhiya Choraye Baodhan Khai, Xagoroloi Bohu Dur and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Mara.

He has won accolades for accomplishing artistic excellence while creating a strong bridge between the north-east and the rest of India," said Sanjay Nahar, founding president of Sarhad.

Nahar added that Sarhad is determined to connect Maharashtra with the north-east.

A recipient of the Padma Shri award, Barua has won nine national awards for his films. Hazarika, a lyricist, musician, singer, poet and filmmaker was instrumental in ushering the culture of north-east India across the country. He brought the folk music of north-east to the national and international arena.

Also present were P A Inamdar, educationalist, Mohan Dharia, Vanarai president and industrialist Bharat Desalda, among others.

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