Prafulla Kar conferred Padma Shri

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee conferred noted Odia singer Prafulla Kar with the prestigious Padma Shri award at a special function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi today.

Kar was among 43 recipients, including BJP veteran L.K. Advani, who were honoured with various Padma awards in the presence of prime minister Narendra Modi, vice-president Hamid Ansari, Home minister Rajnath Singh, Finance minister Arun Jetley and other dignitaries.

A household name in Odisha, Kar has scored music in over 70 Odia films and lent his voice to hundreds of film, radio and album songs. The 76-year-old maestro has also composed music for numerous Odissi dance dramas and ballets.

Known for his mellifluous voice, Kar has been a patron of Odisha’s rich cultural traditions and recorded Odia Bhagabat and Odia Chhanda, a rare collection of traditional Odia songs.

He is also popular for his devotional numbers. An album ‘Prabhukrupa’, directed by him, was a chart-buster, recording sales of over 10 lakh cassettes. His composition ‘Collection of Geet Govindam’, rendered by Vani Jayaram, was also a huge hit.

Kar has the rare distinction of being awarded best music director in State film awards for eight times, six in a row.

Speaking to our correspondent, Kar said, “My advice for the budding artists is ‘perform your duties without any hope of recognition, awards will come your way automatically’.”

Asked if the honour has come belatedly, he quipped, “I had never aspired for any such award nor does winning such awards inspire me. So, it does not make any difference to me.”

At the function, Advani and Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal were conferred the Padma Bibhushan award while noted lawyer Harish Salve, journalists Swapan Dasgupta and Rajat Sharma were given Padma Bhushan.