Kolkata: Eminent film actress Suchitra Sen was today conferred with West Bengal government`s highest award Banga-Bibhusan.
The legendary filmstar was, however, not present on the stage to receive the award as she continues to remain away from public eye.
On her behalf, the 81-year-old actress`s daughter Moon Moon Sen and grand-daughter Raima Sen received the prestigious award from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a ceremony here.
Instituted last year to honour eminent people from different walks of life, Banga-Bibhusan includes a citation and award money worth Rs 2 lakh.
Sen had ruled the silver screen till the seventies by acting in Hindi and Bengali films like ‘Saat Paake Bandha’, ‘Saptapadi’ and Bimal Roy`s ‘Devdas’.
Twice awarded the Filmfare award for best actress during the peak of her career, she had refused the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 2005 to avoid making any public appearance.
Besides Sen, the government awarded 15 other eminent persons in the sports and cultural world with Banga-Bibhusan and Banga-Bhusan.
"This day (May 20) is a special day to me and I shall keep on conferring this highest award of the state government to such eminent personalities in the cultural world every year. They are our inspiration," Banerjee said.
Olympic hockey player Leslie Claudius, thespians Rudraprasad Sengupta, Bibhas Chakraborty and Shaonli Mitra, litterateurs Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay and Sanjib Chattopadhyay, painter Jogen Chowdhury, Tollywood star Ranjit Mallick, film director Goutam Ghosh, poet Joy Goswami, vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty and Shenahi player Ustad Ali Ahmed Hussain Khan were also conferred Banga-Bibhusan.
Those who were awarded with Banga-Bhusan include classical vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan, percussionist Bickram Ghosh and popular singer Nachiketa Chakraborty.
A galaxy of stars and other eminent persons graced the occasion which also marked the completion of the Mamata Banerjee government`s first year in office in the state.