Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his family have turned down Uttar Pradesh government’s largesse that saw the celebrities being among the first beneficiaries of a new pension scheme for people awarded the Yash Bharti Samman.
The UP cabinet had on Tuesday announced that all recipients of the state's highest honour will be eligible to receive an Rs 50,000 monthly pension for life.
The Bachchan family has, however, turned down the pension and instead want the amount to be used for the welfare of the poor.
The Yash Bharti Samman is given for gaining eminence in the fields of films, art, literature and sport. Earlier, the award would fetch Rs 5 lakh but in its revised avatar recipients are given a cash award of Rs 11 lakh, a shawl and a citation.
Since its initiation in 1994, around 150 eminent persons from different fields have received the award. In fact, its inaugural year, Bachchan's father Harivansh Rai Bachchan was among the winners.
Given by the department of culture, there is no fixed number of recipients of the award each year and is discontinued whenever the Samajwadi Party is not in power, the Times of India reported.
In 2015, the Akhilesh Yadav government has already bestowed the 'Samman' to 56 eminent persons, which included film actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Jimmy Shergil, singers Kailash Kher and Rekha Bhardwaj and classical vocalists Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra.