Union Ministry of Culture on 7 October 2014 launched year-long birth centenary celebrations of Ghazal singer Begum Akhtar whose original name was Akhtar Bai Faizabadi.
On this occasion, the Ministry released a set of commemorative coins of 100 rupees and 5 rupees and also announced musical programmes to popularise ghazals and thumris of Begum Akhtar.
With this end in view, a National Implementation Committee (NIC) under the Chairmanship of Union Minister for Culture Shripad Yasso Naik was constituted to chalk out programmes and activities that may be taken up during the commemoration year.
Over the next one year, music festivals have been planned in several cities in collaboration with state governments to celebrate her life and achievements. Music programmes will be held in Mumbai, Chennai, Varanasi, Goa, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
The government also announced a scholarship programme which will be given to one student per year from Sangeet Natak Akademi in order to support and pursue music and facilitate their career.
About Begum Akhtar
• Akhtar Bai Faizabadi, popularly called Begum Akhtar was a famous singer of Ghazal and Dadra and Thumri of Hindustani classical music genre.
• She received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for vocal music in 1972 and was awarded Padam Shri and Padam Bhushan (Posthumously) by Government of India in 1968 and 1975 respectively.
• Amongst her disciples included Shanti Hiranand, who herself later received Padma Shri and wrote, a biography Begum Akhtar: The Story of My Ammi (2005).
• Art critic, S. Kalidas directed a documentary on her titled, Hai Akhtari
• She was given the title of Mallika-e-Ghazal (Queen of Ghazals).
• She was born in Bada Darwaza Faizabad District, Uttar Pradesh on 7 October 1914.
• She died in Ahmedabad in Gujarat on 30 October 1974 and was buried at Pasanda Bagh in Lucknow
When: 7 October 2014