Ilaiyaraaja Gets Padma Vibhushan
President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday approved the award of 85 Padma awards. The list of those honoured includes music composer-director Ilaiyaraaja conferred with a Padma Vibhushan and sports icons M.S. Dhoni and Pankaj Advani honoured with Padma Bhushan.
The 73 Padma Shri awards include Malaysian dancer-choreographer Ramli Bin Ibrahim, doctor couple Abhay Bang and Rani Bang and Gond artist Bhajju Shyam.
Keeping its promise of honouring “unsung heroes”, the Padma Shri awards celebrate many who served the poor, set up free schools and popularised tribal arts.
Lakshmikutty, a tribal woman from Kerala, who prepares 500 herbal medicines from memory and has helped several people bitten by snakes and insects, is among the awardees. The only tribal woman from her area to attend school way back in the 1950s, Ms. Lakshmikutty teaches at the Kerala Folklore Academy and lives in a hut in a tribal settlement in a forest.
Arvind Gupta, an IIT Kanpur alumnus who inspired generations of students to learn science from trash, has also been honoured. Mr. Gupta has visited 3,000 schools in four decades, made 6,200 short films on toy-making in 18 languages. .
Murlikant Petkar, India’s first para-Olympic gold medalist, who lost his arm in the 1965 Indo-Pak war has also been honoured with a Padma Shri.
Gond artist honoured
Internationally-acclaimed Gond artist Bhajju Shyam has also been honoured with a Padma Shri. Mr. Shyam is famous for depicting Europe in his Gond paintings. Born in a poor tribal family, he worked as a night watchman and electrician to support family before becoming a professional artist. His The London Jungle Book sold 30,000 copies and has been published in five foreign languages.
Kerala’s medical messiah for the terminally ill, M R Rajagopal, is among the awardees. Rajagopal has specialised in pain relief care for neo natal cases.
Maharashtra’s Murlikant Petkar, India’s first para- Olympic gold medalist, who lost his arm in 1965 Indo-Pak war, is another winner.
Tamil Nadu’s Rajagopalan Vasudevan, known as the plastic road-maker of India, developed a patented and innovative method to reuse plastic waste to construct roads, has also been given the Padma Shri.