BEYOND ELITISM: PADMA AWARDS TO 26 UNSUNG HEROES 

Padma Vibhushan for Mulayam Singh Yadav, Zakir Hussain, S M Krishna, Dilip Mahalanabis 

On the eve of the Republic Day, the government on Wednesday announced names of 106 Padma Award. Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and Dilip Mahalanabis, who pioneered the wide wide Oral Rehydration Solution(ORS), and noted architect Balkrishna Doshi have been named for Padma Vibhushan posthumously with the government announcing Padma awards for 2023 on the eve of the 74th Republic Day. The list comprises six Padma Vibhushan, nine Padma Bhushan and 91 Padma Shri awards. Nineteen of the awardees are women. There are seven posthumous awardees. Other Padma Vibhushan awardees are former External Affairs Minister and former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna (Public Affairs), tabla maestro Zakir Hussain (Art) and Srinivas Vardhan (Science and Engineering). Former Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav has been honored posthumously for his services in Public Affairs), Dilip Mahalanabis (Medicine) and Balkrishna Doshi (Architecture). The nine Padma Bhushan awardees include Kumar Manglam Birla (Trade and Industry), Vani Jairam (Art), Sudha Murty (Social Work) and Chinna Jeeyar and Kamlesh D Patel (Others – Spiritualism). Late investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, actor Raveena Tandon and Manipur BJP president Thounaojam Chaoba Singh were also honoured with the Padma Awards. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his congratulations. “India cherishes their rich and varied contributions to the nation and their efforts to enhance our growth trajectory,” he said. Medical professional Dilip Mahalanabis, who returned from the US to serve in 1971-Bangladesh war refugee camps and promoted world wide use of Oral Rehydration Solution saving over five crore lives globally, was among 26 unsung heroes named for the coveted Padma awards on the eve of Republic Day. Mahalanabis (87) from West Bengal has been selected for this year’s Padma Vibhushan, country’s second highest civilian award, officials said. Retired government doctor from Andaman Ratan Chandra Kar, who is working with the Jarawa tribe in the Nicobar islands, Siddi tribal social worker from Gujarat Hirabai Lobi, war veteran Munishwar Chander Dawar who has been treating under priviledged people in Madhya Pradesh were selected for Padma Shri. Naga social worker Ramkuiwangbe Newme who protected and promoted Heraka indigenous culture through awareness camps and programmes, established 10 primary schools and encouraged education for women besides transcripting ‘Tingwang Hingde’ of Heraka religion was also selected for Padma Shri. Among those selected for Padma Shri also include ‘Kannur ke Gandhi’ V P Appukuttan Poduval, a 99-year old freedom fighter who participated in Quit India movement, snake catchers from Vadivel Gopal and Masi Sadaiyan of Irula Tribe in Tamil Nadu and 98-year old self-sustained small organic farmer from Sikkim Tula Ram Upreti.

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