New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday approved the conferment of Padma Vibhushan to music composer Illaiyaraja, Indian classical musician Ghulam Mustafa Khan and Hindutva thinker Parameswaran.
On the other hand, billiards player Pankaj Advani, cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni and folk singer from Bihar Sharda Sinha were named for Padma Bhushan.
Others who will be given the Padma Bhushan are – Philipose Mar Chrysostom (spiritualism), Alexander Kadakin (public affairs Russia), Ramachandran Nagaswamy (archaeology), Ved Prakash Nanda (literature), Laxman Pai (art) and Arvind Parikh (art).
Meanwhile, keeping its promise of honouring ‘unsung heroes’, the government announced Padma Shri awards for personalities who served the poor, set up free schools and popularised tribal arts globally.
Lakshmikutty, a tribal woman from Kerala, who prepares 500 herbal medicine from memory and help thousands of people especially in snake and insect bite cases, is among the awardees.
Arvind Gupta, an IIT Kanpur alumnus who inspired generations of students to learn science from thrash, has also been honoured with Padma Shri.
Internationally-acclaimed Gond artist Bhajju Shyam has also been awarded the Padma Shri. Shyam is famous for depicting Europe through Gond paintings, a tribal style of painting of Madhya Pradesh.
West Bengal’s Sudhanshu Biswas, a 99-year-old freedom fighter who serves poor, runs school and orphanages and set up a free school for poor, is also among the winners.
Kerala’s medical messiah to terminally ill, MR Rajagopal, has also been honoured with Padma Shri. Rajagopal has specialised in pain relief care for neonatal cases.
Maharashtra’s Murlikant Petkar, India’s first para- Olympic gold medalist, who lost his arm in 1965 Indo-Pak war, is another winner of the Padma Shri.
Tamil Nadu’s Rajagopalan Vasudevan, who is known as plastic road-maker of India, developed a patented and innovative method to reuse plastic waste to construct roads, has too been given the Padma Shri.
Subhasini Mistry, a poor lady from rural West Bengal, who toiled 20 years as a housemaid and daily labourer to build a hospital for poor in the state, is another awardee.
Another awardee is Yeshi Dhoden, monk physician of Tibetan herbal medicine working in remote areas of Himachal Pradesh.
Lucknow’s Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri, who translated over 700 Shlokas of Bhagwad Gita from Sanskrit to Urdu, will also be given the Padma Shri.
Karnataka’s Ibrahim Sutar, a singer and icon of Hindu-Muslim unity; Bihar’s Manas Bihari Verma, a former programme director of Tejas, India’s first indigenous multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft are the other names selected for award.
73 persons will be conferred the Padma Shri awards.