Members of the South Indian Film Artistes Association (SIFAA) called on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Wednesday to thank him for announcing that actor Sivaji Ganesan's birthday would be celebrated as a government function.
The delegation, led by the president of the association actor Nasser, actors Ponvannan, Pasupathy and Kovai Sarala also put forth a set of demands for the welfare of theatre actors and film artistes.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, the representation said that they also thanked the CM for doubling the financial assistance provided to drama artistes who perform in government-organised exhibitions.
Adding that they have put forth a set of five demands to the CM including providing financial assistance to the heirs of veterans in Tamil cinema if they are in poor economic conditions, they also said that the government should do more like providing free bus passes to drama artistes and building theatre halls in Tiruchy and Pudukottai in the memory of yesteryear superstars MK Thyagaraja Bhagavathar and PU Chinnappa.
Tamil Nadu government had in June announced that it would celebrate the birth anniversary of actor Sivaji Ganesan as a government function. TN Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said that this would be a fitting honour to the actor who had won awards from the Kalaimamani to the Dadasaheb Phalke award and also the Chevalier honour from the Government of France.
Born on October 1, 1928, Sivaji Ganesan made his debut in the movie Parasakthi in 1952 and became a star overnight. He acted in over 300 films and went on to become one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema. In 1997, he was conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke award by the government of India. He was also the first Indian actor to be made a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, which is a recognition given by the Government of France for significant contributions in the fields of arts and literature. He passed away on July 21, 2001, at the age of 73, after his health gradually failed.