Bhopal, Jan 26 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh-based ‘Maach’ theatre artist Pandit Om Prakash Sharma has been conferred with the Padma Shri for 2024.
The government has announced the list of awardees for all categories on the eve of the 75th Republic Day.
Ujjain-based Sharma (85) has been a face of Maach folk theatre for the last seven decades. Maach theatre is a form of dance drama of the Malwa region in Madhya Pradesh.
Sharma belongs to the Ustad Kaluram School of Maach. Ustad Kaluram was his grandfather, and he has been practising the folk art of Maach since his childhood.
Sharma’s contribution to Maach is not restricted to its performance, as he has written 18 plays for Maach in Malwi, produced several Maach productions, composed and performed music for a variety of theatre productions and trained young artist in this folk art.
Before being selected for Padma Shree, Pandit Sharma was honoured with several awards including Shikhar Sammaan by the Madhya Pradesh government and the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his valuable contribution for his contribution for Maach art.
Coming to know about his name for Padma Shree award for 2024, Pandit Sharma, who lives at a village in Ujjain, was congratulated by family friends and neighbours.
A person known to him told IANS over phone that after getting of the Padma award, Pandit ji (as people fondly call him) met the people who came to his residence and went to sleep.