Babubhai Girdharji Ranpura

Shri Babubhai Girdharji Ranpura was born in 1943 in Jakasana village of Mehsana district in Gujarat. Peripatetic by force of circumstance in his early years, he acquired a direct knowledge of traditional lore through his wanderings as a child in the Gujarat countryside. At the age of nine he performed his first musical drama, present- ed by Ganesh Natak Mandali at Mandal in Ahmedabad district. This performance was to start off a remarkable artistic career in which Shri Ranpura has expressed himself not only in song, but also through his poetry and other literary work. He is also well known for his work in cinema and the electronic media, focused on Gujarat’s folk heritage. Among many international events in the past twenty years, Shri Ranpura has participated in the Festivals of India in France and the former Soviet Union in 1985 and 1987 respectively; both the events opened with his voice reverberating in songs of Gujarat. He has subsequently performed in Britain, mainland Europe, and the Gulf states on invitation from various sponsors. He has scripted, anchored, acted and choreographed a number of films on Gujarat’s folk life and culture, such as the document-aries Rabari of Kutch and Gujaratna Sangitkaro. He has been invited by Gujarat University to conduct seminars on aspects of folk culture. Among other honours, Shri Ranpura has been bestowed the Gaurav Puraskar by the Government of Gujarat in 1998. Shri Babubhai Girdharji Ranpura receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to the folk music of Gujarat.