Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar has been honoured with the first Yash Chopra Memorial Award for her contribution to Hindi cinema.
She was presented the award by Information and
Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari at a function here last
Lata, who has been unwell for the last three days, made
it a point to attend the function where
industrialist-politician T Subbarami Reddy, who produced Hindi
films like Vijay, Chandni and Lamhe, announced a
national award in the memory of the legendary filmmaker.
"I am unwell since three days... I have fever and doctors
have asked me to take rest and not go out anywhere. But I
wanted to come here... I have not come here for the award and
Rs ten lakh. Yashji was special and close to my heart... We
did not meet always but we were close as we loved each other,"
Lata said, adding she felt sad as she could not meet Yashji
before his demise last year.
Chopra's wife Pamela was also present and became
emotional while talking about her late husband.
"I am honoured and privileged to be here. She (Lata
Mangeshkar) is an icon and we are happy she got the award. She
is close to my husband... my family. I am grateful to her to
come here for my husband despite being unwell," Pamela said.
A number of Bollywood celebrities including Sridevi,
Boney Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Anil Kapoor, Jeetendra, Rani
Mukerji, Hema Malini, Akshay Kumar, Subhash Ghai, Simi
Garewal, Sonali Bendre to name a few attended the event.
Lata Mangeshkar is the first recipient of the award
constituted by TSR Foundation of T Subbarami Reddy.
"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 Reddy, also a Congress leader.
Yash Chopra died in Mumbai on October 21 last year.
A panel of actors comprising Hema Malini, Simi Garewal
and Anil Kapoor worked as a special jury which finalised Lata
Recalling her memories with Yash Chopra, Garewal said,
"It is a great loss not only of a great filmmaker but also as
a family member as I am the sister-in-law of the late
Actress Hema Malini said she was lucky to work under
Yashji, who had cast her in four of his films. "I think Yashji
presented heroines beautifully in his films," she said.