The Indian Information & Broadcast Minister Anurag Thakur announced on social media that legendary actress Waheeda Rehman would be bestowed with the honorary Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award this year. This is the highest Indian award in the field of cinema presented annually by the Directorate of Film Festivals at the National Film Awards ceremony.
The 85-year-old Waheeda Rehman is considered one of the finest actresses in Indian cinema of all time. She has received many accolades including a National Film Award and three Filmfare Awards. She has been the recipient of prestigious recognitions like Padma Shri (1972) and Padma Bhushan (2011) by the Indian government.
Rehman’s cinematic journey started with the Telugu film Rojulu Murayi (1955). From becoming Guru Dutt’s lead heroine to working in more than 90 films her career spanned over five decades. She gifted the Indian audience with incredible classic movies such as Pyaasa (1957), Kagaz Ke Phool (1959), Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960), Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam (1962), Guide (1965), Ram Aur Shyam (1969) as well as contemporary good cinemas such as Rang De Basanti (2006), Delhi 6 (2009), etc. Waheeda Rehman has also been featured by the Oscar-winning great Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray in his Bengali film, Abhijan. The actress was last seen in the 2021 movie Skater Girl.
Over the past few years, the talented evergreen actress has taken an interest in wildlife photography. Rehman has been a philanthropist and an advocate for education. She is an ambassador for an organization called Rang De which works to combat poverty in India.
The I & B Minister recently tweeted, “I feel an immense sense of happiness and honour in announcing that Waheeda Rehman ji is being bestowed with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award this year for her stellar contribution to Indian Cinema.” He also added, “I congratulate her and humbly pay my regards to her rich body of work that is an intrinsic part of our film history.”
According to a report by ETimes, veteran actress Asha Parekh who was presented with the honor last year has responded to this news by saying, “I am very happy. God bless Waheeda. She absolutely deserves it.”
By Ishita Ganguly