The Ministry of Human Resource Development Government of India honoured Padamshree Balwant Thakur Director of Natrang at the culmination of National Kala Utsav-2015-the first ever festival of music, dance, drama and visual arts which had the participation of thirty six states and union territories. The felicitation function was held at Sri Fort Auditorium New Delhi in which prominent among those who were felicitated on the occasion included Noble peace prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, Padma Vibhushan Sonal Mansingh, Padma Bhushan Ruskin Bond and Niranjan Goswami in addition to Balwant Thakur. The National Kala Utsav is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to promote arts in education by nurturing and showcasing the artistic talent of school students at the secondary stage in the country.
Known for giving a new dimension to the theatre of children in India Balwant Thakur has contributed immensely in devising, innovating and creating a fresh dramatic structure which is altogether different both in content and form. His children plays like ‘Mere Hisse Ki Dhoop Kahan Hai’ ‘Aap Hamare Hain Kaun’, ‘Bhaag Beta Bhaag’ ‘Rang Badalti Duniya’, ‘Hum Hain Naa’ has been appreciated and performed all over India on repeated requests. Gifted with a creative literary impulse, rare aesthetic vision, directorial elegance and above all most innovative theatre exponent the grand acclaimed thespian Balwant Thakur is a man of myriad traits. Born in 1960 in a sleepy village of J & K he spent his childhood in the panoramic ambience of hills with their beauty and freshness still rejuvenating his mind and soul. A Law Graduate Balwant is post Graduate in Mass Communication with a three years HRD Ministry National Senior Fellowship Award in cultural research to his credit in addition to national senior fellowship of Ministry of Culture. Rightfully decorated with the Sanskriti award -1992 for Children Theatre and prestigious National Sangeet Natak Akademi for direction in theatre , the coveted
Padamshree honour was bestowed on him in 2013, Balwant Thakur is one of the few names of the country who have made a unique contribution in establishing a new Children’s Theatre idiom. He has created over two dozen drama spectacles which really represent the ethos, aspirations of the society as a whole. Decorated with The Ford Foundation (USA) fellowship for his research project ‘Search for a New Theatre Language’, he has also been honoured with ‘Abhinayak Samman’ ‘Gurushree Samman’ ‘Saptrishi Samman’ ‘Naksha Samman’ ‘Duggar Rattan’, ‘Maharaja Gulab Singh Memorial Award’ ‘Rabindranath Tagore Award’ ‘Kala Nidhi Purskar’ ‘UNESCO accreditation’ and ‘World Theatre Day Honor-2013’
Widely travelled Balwant Thakur held his presentations in Bangkok (Thailand) Singapore, London, Oxford, Brighton, Stratford, Berlin, Frankfurt, (Germany), Rome (Italy) Moscow, Yoroslov, Belgrade, St. Petersburg, Turkey, Almaty, Bishkek, Denmark, Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhaabi, and Dhaka.
Currently working as Regional Director-cum-consultant in Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, and Government of India.