Varanasi (UNI): Shehnai wizard Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan was today presented with a Rs 2.51 lakh cheque sent by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Secretary of the 91-year-old world famous musician, S Javed told UNI here the Rs 2.51 lakh cheque was handed over to 'Khan Sahib' at his Harha Sarai residence by Divisional Commissioner V V Bishwen and District Magistrate Rajiv Agrawal.
A letter from the PM accompanying the gift said the cheque was a ''token gift towards the unrivaled services of the shehnai legend to global music.'' The legendary musician is accredited with transforming shehnai into a 'classical instrument' from a 'marriage one'. The music wizard was conferred the Bharat Ratna -- nation's highest civilian honour -- on May 4, 2001.