Imphal, April 24 (ANI): Guru G. Gourakishor Sharma was recently conferred the coveted Padamshree award for 2008-2009 to honour his lifetime contribution to Manipuri Martial Art, Thang-Ta.
Born into a family having a long tradition of martial arts, the Manipuri martial art, "Thang-Ta" came naturally to Gourakishor, who since childhood developed deep interest in this art form.
Trained under the shadow of his father Late Gurumayum Sanajaoba Sharma and various eminent Manipuri gurus, Gourakishor has participated in various festivals and tournaments.
Gourakishor has dedicated his life to the propagation of the art form, and started a school -'The Huyen Lallong Manipur Thang-Ta Cultural Association' in the vicinity of his home at Keirao in Imphal in 1958.
Gourakishor has established the institute as a leading center for promoting Manipuri art and culture.
The Padma award is a recognition for his tireless efforts to preserve Thang-Ta.
"I'm very happy to receive this award. The art of Thang-Ta in Manipur has been on the verge of extinction but today with the acknowledgement of the Government in the form of this award, the art will be saved and revived. This is the only reason that I'm so happy," said G.Gourakishor Sharma, Padamshree awardee.
Gourakishor efforts have been recognized at various levels and honours have come to him regularly.
The late Maharaj of Manipur, Shri Bodhachandra Singh, awarded him a Gold Medal. Manipuri Sahitya Parishad gave him the title of 'Kala Ratna' in 1985 for his outstanding contribution to the field of "Thang-Ta".
He is also the first person to receive the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy award in 1983. ourakishor is associated with cultural Organization of Manipur like Manipur State Kala Akademi, Department of Art and Culture, Government of Manipur and Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy. He has also he taught "Thang-Ta" in various institutes in the state.
His efforts have provided an opportunity for the youth of the state to contribute to the art form. Gourakishor many students have taken part in festivals in India and abroad as well.
"My father has built a platform for us to move ahead with regards to this art form. Through his achievement, the younger generation can benefit a lot. Thereafter, they can take Thang-Ta to an International level," said G. Bisheshor Sharma, Gourakishor's son.
"I'm so happy for my father as he has bagged a prestigious award. It's a joyous occasion for all of us," said G. Lakshana, daughter.
Guru Gourakishor has published books on the indigenous tribes of Manipur like the Aimol, Maring and Chiru and also written scripts for plays such as Govinda Nirupan, Chahi Taret Khuntakpa (Seven years of Devastation) and Haokhong Shimaikhu.
His achievement in preserving the rich culture and tradition of the state sets an example in the Manipuri society worthy of emulation. (ANI)