LUCKNOW || Recipient of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, folk music doyen, Teejanbai is all set to be honoured with the Lok Nirmala Samman on March 15 in the state capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow.
Apart from the sounds of the folk thespian, the mellifluous strains of Rajasthan, Assam, Bundelkhand among others will fill the air. The first of its kind Lok Nirmala Samman is being presented by the folk culture institution Sonchiraya at the Sant Gadge campus of Gomti Nagar situated Sangeet Natak Academy.
This will be the biggest honour given by a private institution at the national level in the field of folk art. In this, one lakh rupees will be given as an honour.
Teejanbai’s Pandwani singing will become the main attraction at the ceremony. Along with Kalbeliya dance of Rajasthan and Bihu dance of Assam, strains of the soul-stirring Alha will also be heard.
In a recent interaction with the media folk singer, Malini Awasthi told a battery of media persons that the Lok Nirmala Samman will be given regularly 2020 onwards for exceptional services for the upliftment of folk culture.
Pandwani singer Teejanbai was born on 24 April 1956 in village Ganiyari in Chhattisgarh, Bhilai. She is the first female artist of the Pandwani folk song-drama genre. Teejanbai, who has exhibited her art in the country and abroad, has been awarded an honorary degree of D-Lit by Bilaspur University.
Teejanbai was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in the year 1988, the Padma Bhushan in the year 2003 and the Padma Vibhushan in the year 2019. Back in 1995, she had been showered with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
She was so inspired by the stories of Mahabharata that she heard in her childhood from her maternal grandfather Brijlal that she decided to tell the story of Mahabharata in a singsong style.
She took to the art form at the age of just 13. In those times, women used to sit and sing only in what is called Vedmati style. Teejanbai surprised everyone by standing up like men and singing in Kapalik style.
In the same evening, the traditional Kalbeliya dance of Rajasthan will be presented by famous artist Gautam Parmar. The origin of this Kalbeliya caste called Sapera, Sapela Jogi or Jagi is believed to be from the 12th-century disciple of Guru Gorakhnath “Kālipra”.
Since the passage of the Wildlife Conservation Act of 1972, Kalbeliya tribes have been cultivating, doing laborious tasks, dancing and making a living instead of their traditional snake-catching profession.
The third attraction will be Assam’s Bihu dance. The farmers of its Assam offer the first crop of their season by singing and dancing to their hearts fullest. The final, fiery rendition of that memorable evening will be the singing of Ailu by Sheelu Singh Rajput.