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Maguni Charan Kuanr gets Padmashri Award for master puppeteer

New Delhi: President Mrs. Draupadi Murmu on Wednesday presented Maguni Charan Kuanr with the Padmashri Award for his contribution to the arts industry.

Maguni Charan received the Padma Shri award in the arts. Maguni Charan, is a renowned Odisha’s Keonjhar master puppeteer is well-known both within and outside of Odisha. At only 15 years old, he began learning master puppeteer with his instructor Makardhwaj Behera. He then founded the cultural group “Utkal Vishwakarma Karakkunj” to perform master puppeteer around the nation.

Kuanr, who was born on February 12, 1937, has struggled with financial issues as well as other issues. He has performed his art outside of domestic programmes at places like New Delhi, Bombay, Kolkata, Guwahati, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Agartala, Cooch Behar, Bhopal, Shanti Niketan and Asiad-1972, Bangalore (International Kandy Dance Program).

Kunar is an exceptionally skilled artist. He crafts the dialogue for the plot and creates the characters in accordance with the various characters. He is also an actor, painter, writer of dialogue, clay sculptor, and woodcarver. Also, he contributed artwork to Viswanath Khuntia’s Ramayana and Vaishnab Muni’s Geethinatya. At the age of 87, he is still moving around.

Kuanr has won numerous prizes and accolades both inside and outside of Odisha, and he has made the state proud. He was given the Orissa Music Drama Academy Prize in 1984. He received the Central Music Drama Academy Prize from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who was the president at the time, in 2004.

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