Bhopal: Noted Hindi poet Gopaldas Neeraj has received the first National Kavi Pradeep Samman at a function held here.
The award was presented to the 90-year-old poet by Madhya Pradesh Culture Minister Surendra Patwa last evening at Shaheed Bhawan here. It carries a cash prize of Rs two lakh, a shawl and a citation.
On the occasion, Neeraj mesmerised the audience by reciting some of his select poems.
The award has been instituted by the Madhya Pradesh government in the memory of Kavi Pradeep, the renowned poet and songwriter who is best known for his patriotic song 'Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo' written as a tribute to the soldiers who had died defending the country during the Sino-Indian War.
Kavi Pradeep was born in Badnagar town of Ujjain district on February 6, 1915. His real name was Ramchandra Narayanji Dwivedi. He died on December 11, 1998.
During the function last evening, Principal Secretary Manoj Shrivastava highlighted the six-decade-long journey of Neeraj and his contribution to the Hindi literature.
Madhya Pradesh Additional Director General of Police Pavan Jain also recited some of his poems on the occasion along with noted poet Sarvesh Asthana of Lucknow.