New Delhi: Union Minister for Tourism and Culture G Kishan Reddy visited the residences of Bharatanatyam and Kathak doyens Saroja Vaidyanathan and Uma Sharma on the eve of Guru Poornima on Friday.
During his visit, the minister expressed his gratitude and recognised the tremendous efforts made by the larger artist community in advancing the performing arts in the country. He was accompanied by Amita Prasad Sarbhai, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Culture.
The communities’ undying passion is a significant contribution towards the preservation and propagation of India’s rich heritage and culture, said Reddy.
He also presented the Central government’s efforts to celebrate India’s rich cultural heritage and spoke about various events being organised under “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” – the year-long celebration of India’s 75th year of independence.
The minister presented both gurus with a shawl, a memento of Tirupati Balaji Lord Venkateswara, and a bouquet of flowers.
He also touched their feet in the “guru-shishya” tradition before leaving and sought their blessings in discharging his duties as a Union Minister.
Reddy called on Vaidyanathan, 83, at her dance school Ganesh Natyalayaon in the Qutb Institutional Area.
Ms Vaidyanathan was awarded the Padma Shri in 2002 and the Padma Bhushan in 2013. She has ten full-length ballets and nearly 2,000 individual Bharatanatyam items to her credit.
Reddy thanked her for her undying spirit and prayed for her long life so that she could continue her devotion to the precious art form of Bharatnatyam.