Amitabh Bachchan has been chosen for the Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR) National Award 2014, instituted by the Akkineni International Foundation. It will be given away in the presence of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu here on December 27, said actor and ANR’s son Nagarjuna.
At a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Nagarjuna said that the programmes at the awards function would include a specially-choreographed dance recital by actor and danseuse Sobhana and a performance by 60 children dancing to a song from ‘Manam,’ ANR’s last film. Also, 19 youngsters who are passing out of the Annapurna International School of Film & Media will get their degrees from the Big B himself.
Rajya Sabha Member and industrialist T. Subbarami Reddy, who is chairman of the selection committee, recalled that in the year 2004, when ANR got the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award, he got the idea of instituting a recognition to honour those who had devoted their lives for the development of Indian cinema. A bank account was opened with Rs. 2 lakh, a sum that grew to Rs. 1 crore soon.
With the interest that the fund generated, every year since 2005, the awards were being given away, he explained. ANR’s daughter Nagasusheela said that even when her father was in hospital a few days before he passed away, he had expressed his desire that the awards should continue even after his death. “We told this to Mr. Subbarami Reddy and he is fully with us in the endeavour as chairman of the committee,” she said, her eyes turning moist. Earlier recipients of the award include Dev Anand (2005), Shabana Azmi (2006), Anjali Devi (2007), Vyjayantimala Bali (2008), Lata Mangeshkar (2009), K. Balachander (2010), Hemamalini (2011) and Shyam Benegal (2012).