Tribals in old Adilabad district of Telangana hailed Padma Shri award to Ghusadi dance master Kanaka Raju, who is the only Padma awardee from Telangana this year.
Soon after the announcement of award by the government of India, tribal communities began the celebrations and termed the honour as recognition for both the tribal art form and the dance master.
Raju, 63, hails from Marlavai of Jainoor Mandal in now Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.
Tribals said Raju had made them proud. He is popular among adviasis in old Adilabad district bordering Maharashtra.
Raju trained hundreds of Adivasi teenagers and youth in Ghusadi for over four decades.
Raju had led a Gusadi cultural troupe to Delhi and performed before then Prime minister Indira Gandhi and President Zail Singh.
Tribals recalled that then ITDA officer Madavi Thukaram had selected Raju to lead the 16-member troupe to Delhi.