In a befitting tribute, the legendary singer, Lata Mangeshkar was presented the first National Yash Chopra Memorial Award at a glittering, star studded function in Mumbai on 19 October 2013.
The annual award has been instituted by the TSR Foundation of T. Subbarami Reddy as a tribute to the legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra, symbolically on the eve of his first death anniversary. "In our first year, we are giving this award to Lata Mangeshkar for her immense contribution to cinema. She was very close to Yashji and she has sung for almost all his films," said Mr. Reddy. Mr. Reddy was a dear friend of Yashji and to honour this friendship, he has instituted this annual National Award.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tewari, presented the award to the legendary singer. While conferring the award, he said, "Lata Mangeshkar, blessed with a beautiful voice, is the pride of the Indian music industry and a living legend".
Lata Mangeshkar, who began her career in 1942, is one who has been recognised and honoured over the years for her dedication, not just to the Indian and International film fraternity, but to the overall field of art and culture, which made her the natural and unanimous choice for this award. The award carries a cheque of Rs.10 Lakhs and a citation. This memorial award will be given annually to people as a humble recognition of their significant and outstanding contribution in the field of art and culture.
Lataji’s association with Yashji, both as a dear friend and professionally, is well known and in her acceptance speech she said, "I have been unwell since the last three days. I have fever and doctors have asked me to take complete rest and not go out. But I just had to come here.” Amidst laughter and heartfelt emotions, she added, “I have not come here for the award and Rs.10 lakhs. I have only come here to offer my pranaam to my dear brother, Yashji. He was very special and close to my heart. Though we did not meet often, we were close as we loved each other". She said that she felt sad as she could not meet him before his sudden demise last year.
Mrs. Pamela Chopra, who was the Guest of Honour at the function, said "I am honoured and privileged to be here. Didi (as Lataji was called by Yashji) is an icon and we are happy she got the award. She was close to my husband and my family. I am grateful to her to come here for my husband despite being unwell".
Apart from Union Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Praful Patel, who inaugurated this award function, a number of celebrities including jury members Hema Malini, Simi Garewal and Anil Kapoor, as well as Sridevi and Boney Kapoor, Subhash Ghai, Jeetendra, Rani Mukerji, Poonam Dhillon, Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, composers Bappi Lahiriand Lalit Pandit, singers Alka Yagnik, Talat Aziz, Anup Jalota and Adnan Sami, were amongst many others who graced this function. Mr. V. N. Dhoot and Mr. Arun Saraf were also distinguished guests at the event.
Yash Raj Films would like to thank Mr. T. Subbarami Reddy, India’s leading Industrialist, Politician, Philanthropist, Filmmaker and above all Yash Chopra’s dear friend, for taking this initiative to honour Yashji.