Raam Manikandan gets Bal Shakti Puraskar
President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Bal Shakti Puraskar 2019 awards earlier this year. Twenty-six awardees were chosen from amongst 900 applications in the field of innovation, social service, scholastic, sports, art & culture and bravery. Selected in the category of art & culture – classical music – was Chennai based Raam Manikandan. Twelve-year-old Raam, is studying in class 8 in Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, Siruseri, Chennai. He learns Carnatic music from Prof. P.P. Ramakrishnan (Retired. Principal of the Chembai Memorial Music College, Palghat, Kerala), and mridangam from Mysore Sai Shiv of Guru Karaikudi Mani School. Raam has also completed the electronic keyboard final (8th) grade exam conducted by Trinity College, London, and is one of the youngest in India to have secured it with distinction. Among his other accomplishments, Raam has also received the Kalai Ilamani Award (Young Artist award) from the Government of Tamil Nadu.
Trutpraj Atul Pandya from Maharashtra and Vinayaka M from Karnataka are the other two children who have been awarded the Bal Shakti Puraskar under this category.