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Rosem player Thanga Darlong, Padma Shri awardee has been felicitated by Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb. Centenarian Darlong from Unakoti of Tripura is among the 94 Padma Shri awardees of this year.

Darlong who has been felicitated at the Chief Minister’s residence at Agartala has been conferred the award in the category of art, music, flute by the Government of India.

The Tripura Government has sanctioned an amount of Rs. 1.5 lakh from CM’s relief fund and another Rs. 1.2 lakh under PM rural housing scheme for construction of a house for Darlong.

Darlong said that he had to take an amount of Rs. 40,000 at 10 percent interest for travelling to receive his award and that his family could repay only half of the loan amount taken on interest and the Chief Minister while come to know about this immediately went upstairs and paid Rs. 20,000 so that Darlong could repay his loan.

Pleased on the CM’s move, Darlong gifted a Roshem to him which he tried to play. Thanga is considered to be one of the most accomplished performers of Rosem and is dedicated to preserving and promoting the traditional instrument.

Born on July, 1920 at Muruai village of Tripura, Thanga also received Sangeet Natak Academy award in 2014 for his contribution to the folk music of Tripura.

Chief Minister Deb also thanked the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the union government for choosing a musician from a remote village of Tripura for the Padma Shri Award.

Darlong was also showcased in Tree of Tongues in Tripura directed by the National Award winner Joshy Joseph in 2016.

Darlong has also mentored a large number of young indigenous protégés in the art of playing the instrument as the advent of modern musical instruments and penetration of digitized music in the villages and traditional art and culture forms are near extinct.