Mysuru: The two-day Rani Abbakka cultural Festival, organised jointly by Dakshina Kannada District Association, Rani Abbakka Utsava Samithi and other organisations of coastal region, concluded last evening at Maharaja’s College Grounds here.
Veteran Kannada Cinema Actress M. Leelavathi, hailing from the coastal region and who has acted in over 550 movies in leading and supporting roles, was conferred the ‘Rani Abbakka Award’ by retired Mysore University VC Prof. K.S. Rangappa and Music University VC Dr. Sarvamangala Shankar.
Speaking in Tulu after receiving the award, Leelavathi immensely thanked the organisers for presenting her the award.
She rendered a couple of traditional songs in Tulu and Konkani. Teaming with her son and actor Vinodraj, Leelavathi rendered Devaranama ‘Neevu bartheera, illey irtheera.’ They together sang the song ‘Huttidare Kannada Nadalli Huttabeku’ slightly altering the lyrics to ‘Huttidare intha thayi hotteyalli huttabeku’ with the 83-year-old Leelavathi putting the steps with ease surprising the audience.
Vinodraj presented a dance to the song ‘Dance Dance Raja Dance.’ The audience thunderously applauded the bondage between the mother and son.
Earlier to that, various associations from the coastal belt presented dance-drama, pantomime, Yaksha Dance, Sugama Sangeetha and other cultural programmes.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister U.T. Khader, former Minister V. Sreenivasa Prasad, former MP A.H. Vishwanath, MLAs G.T. Devegowda, M.K. Somashekar, former MUDA Chairmen K.R. Mohan Kumar, C. Basavegowda, Rani Abbakka Utsava Samithi Mysuru President Sudhakar S. Shetty, Industrialist Dr. Sudhir Shetty and others were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Khader opined that the festival had brought several diverse communities together winding them culturally.
Former Minister Rani Satish presented ‘Rani Abbakka Award’ to two more distinguished women achievers — Ratna B. Shetty, who is serving for the welfare of hearing-impaired children and Khairunnisa Syed, social activist and counsellor. Rani Satish said that Abbakka’s valour had proved that a woman can achieve anything in life.
About 80 members of Tulu Madhwa Mahamandali presented a dance-drama ‘Tulunadu Siri’ featuring artistes from three years to 80 years which was a speciality.