Famous folk musician from Meghalaya, Gloucester Nongbet was among the 84 artists who were presented with the one-time Sangeet Natak Akademi Amrit Awards on the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav today.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi Amrit Awards were conferred by the Vice-President of India Jagdeep Dhankhar in a special ceremony today at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi in the presence of Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal and Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi and Chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi Dr. Sandhya Purecha.
The 84 artists are from the field of performing arts who are above the age of 75 years and who have not been accorded any national honour in their career so far.
Apart from copper plate and Angavastram (white stole), the award winners were also given a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each.
Born on July 8, 1938 in Shillong, Nongbet started out in the field of folk music in Meghalaya at an early age. He is a retired IRS officer of the Customs Department of the Government of Meghalaya.
Nongbet is a passionate and accomplished folk singer, musician and composer, specializing in the duitara, a string musical instrument of the Khasi community.
He is also adept at making duitara and can play folk musical instruments like raja, a traditional percussion instrument, flute, guitar and electronic piano with dexterity.
He has written and composed more than a hundred folk songs on nature, patriotic and devotional themes.
Nongbet is an ‘A’-grade artiste on All India Radio and Doordarshan. He has given countless presentations in the State and other parts of the country.
He has also written many scripts for theater and regional films and has acted in the Khasi film ‘Sha Ba Sep Ka Sngi’ and a few others.