By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 22, 2017: Renowned mardal player Banamali Maharana on Saturday was felicitated with the prestigious Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Award for the year 2016.

State tourism and culture minister Ashok Chandra Panda presented Maharana with a citation, plaque and cash prize of Rs one lakh for his lifelong contribution to music industry at a special function here on Saturday.

Besides, 16 others luminaries were also bestowed with Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy awards for their immense contribution to classical dance like Odissi, folkdance, instrumental music, theatre and other performing arts. The awardees were felicitated with a cash prize of Rs 50,000 along with a citation and plaque.

“I have never given a thought on winning or being awarded, because I think work pays itself. I would like to urge my numerous students to refrain from burdening yourself with expectations of your labour. But when work rightly done the supreme lord will present us with results we deserve,” Maharana told media persons.