The Dubai arm of non-profit organisation Bazm-e-Urdu honoured achievers who have worked to promote the language at an event on Friday, while also holding a musical tribute to the famous poet Kaifi Azmi at Sheikh Rashid Auditorium in Oud Mehta.
The event was attended by noted film star Shabana Azmi, daughter of the late poet, as well as her sister-in-law Tanvi Azmi and actor Kanwaljit Singh.
This year marks the birth centenary of Kaifi Azmi.
The evening's programme was divided into three segments – a musical tribute with Bollywood singers Mohammed Salamat and Sangita Melekar, the award ceremony for four achievers and a stage talk show called Ru-Ba-Ru with Shabana Azmi.
The four award winners this year are:
1) Josh-e-Urdu Award: Dr Gopi Chand Narang (Indian theorist, literary critic and scholar)
2) Alamdar-e-Urdu Award: Muhammad Ahmed Shah (President, Arts Council of Pakistan)
3) Pasban-e-Urdu Award: De Mala Mehra (Principal, Hoerner College, Lucknow, India)
4) Kaifi Azmi Award: Irshad Kamil (Poet, writer, lyricist)
The host organisation Bazm-e-Urdu Dubai is a non-political group that was founded by Rehan Khan, and holds seminars, tributes, talk shows, poetry sessions, contests, dramas, etc in the hope to revitalise the Urdu language in the community.