GUWAHATI: The State government has announced artistes’ awards, 2020 to two noted artistes of the State – Gopikanta Sinha and Apurba Bezbaruah. The awards will be presented to the two artistes by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Shilpi Divas (January 17, 2020) at Jyoti Chitraban, Kahilipara where the Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Assam will observe the day centrally. Each of the awards carries Rs 2 lakh, an angabastram and a citation. The State government has been giving away the award since 1999. Singer Gopikanta Sinha was born at village Bhakatpur on the outskirts of Silchar town on June 2, 1932, and had his Bisharad degree in classical song from Bhatkhande, Lucknow in 1977. Since 1958, Sinha has been associated with classical songs, Bishnupriya Manipuri folk songs, Rabindra Sangeet, Nagrul Giti, gazal, bhajan, and modern Assamese songs. He performed songs in Assam, Manipur, Tripura, West Bengal, Lucknow and AIR, Silchar, DD Silchar etc. Apurba Bezbaruah, born on October 15, 1951 at Nazira, is one of the most popular singers of Assam. He gave his voice to around 200 audio cassettes, besides composing over 2,000 songs. He also has a number of books on songs to his credit, and gave his voice as a playback singer. He is the music director in a number of cinema and TV serials.