Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar
The Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama, established the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar in 2006 to recognize and encourage exceptional young talent in the performing arts. Named after the legendary shehnai maestro, the Yuva Puraskar is awarded annually to performers under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions in the fields of music, dance, theatre, traditional art forms, puppetry, and performing arts scholarship.
Criteria for the Award
To be eligible for the Yuva Puraskar, performers must be Indian citizens or permanent residents, and their age will be calculated based on their age on April 1 of the award year. The nominees should have demonstrated exceptional skills and promise in their respective fields, and they should have a body of work that reflects their commitment to their art. The award is intended to recognize young artists who have already achieved a certain level of excellence in their craft and who have the potential to become leading lights in their field.
The Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar is granted in five categories:
- Music: This category includes all forms of Indian classical and traditional music, as well as popular music and fusion genres.
- Dance: This category includes all forms of Indian classical and folk dance, as well as contemporary dance forms.
- Theatre: This category includes all forms of Indian theatre, including traditional, experimental, and modern drama.
- Traditional Art Forms and Puppetry: This category recognizes performers and scholars of traditional art forms such as puppetry, mask-making, and folk arts.
- Contribution/Scholarship in Performing Arts: This category recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the promotion and preservation of Indian performing arts through research, documentation, education, and advocacy.
- The number of Yuva Puraskar awards given each year is limited to 33, with not more than ten in any one category.
The Award Ceremony
The Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar ceremony is held annually in New Delhi, usually in November or December. The award consists of a tamra patra (a copper plaque), a shawl, and a cash prize of Rs. 25,000. The awardees are also invited to perform at the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s annual festival, the “Sangeet Natak Akademi Sammelan.”
The Impact of the Yuva Puraskar
Since its inception, the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar has become a highly respected and coveted award in the performing arts world. The award has not only recognized and encouraged young talent but has also helped to raise the profile of Indian performing arts globally. Many Yuva Puraskar awardees have gone on to become leading figures in their fields, and the award has helped them to gain recognition and opportunities both in India and abroad.