Padma Shri Mukund Nayak, an exponent of Jhumar folk song and dance, received the Sangeet Natak Academy Award from President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtripati Bhawan in New Delhi. The award has been confered upon him for his contribution to folk music of Jharkhand.
Nayak, a noted songwriter, drummer, dancer and a political activist, is the first in Jharkhand to receive the prestigious award under folk song category. He received Padma Shri in 2017 and the state government’s Sanskritik Samman also in 2017.
Born to a Ghasi tribal family at Bokba village in Simedega district, Nayak completed his graduation in Science from Deoghar Vidyapith. His journey as a performer began in 1974 with his audition at Akashvani. When the Regional Tribal Language department was set up at Ranchi University in 1980, Nayak became associated with it. His passion for music became part of the text book for the university. In 1988, Nayak’s and his troupe performed at the third Hong Kong Institute for the Promotion of Chinese Culture.