I have to honour to present to you Shri Sombhu Mitra, who is the recipient of the Akademi Award for Direction for the year 1959. Born in Calcutta on August 22, 1915, Shri Sombhu Mitra was drawn to the stage at an early age. Helped and guided by the well-known actor, the late Manoranjan Bhattacharya, he took to the study of theatre and also acted on the amateur stage. He joined the professional stage in 1939. In his 2½ years career on the professional stage; he was attached to well- known theatres where he worked with almost all the luminaries of Bengal stage, taking part in well known plays like ‘Alamgir’, ‘Seeta’, ‘Sirajuddaulah’, etc. In 1943, Shri Sombhu Mitra joined the Indian People’s Theatre Association and directed outstanding plays like ‘Jabanbardi’ and ‘Navanna’ in Bengali, and ‘Antim Abhilasha’ in Hindi. In 1947, he formed his own group known as Bohurupee and produced ‘Pathik’, ‘Ulukhagra’, ‘Chhenra Tar’, ‘Char-Adhyay’, ‘Dcsh-Chakra’, ‘Rakta-Karabi’ and ‘Putulkhela’, playing the leading roles in them. Besides the stage, Shri Sombhu Mitra has successfully acted in and directed films. He is also a playwright. For his pre-eminence in direction and for his life-long devotion and service to its cause, I pray, Sir, that you may be pleased to grant him recognition as Director of the Year and award to him a brocade Angavastram, a lotus- embossed leaf in gold, and a Sanad in token of that recognition.