Padam shri for unsung heroes


Keeping its promise of honouring “unsung heroes”, the government has 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 medicines from memory and help thousands of people especially in snake and insect bite cases, is among the awardees.

An IIT Kanpur alumni Arvind Gupta, who inspired generations of students to learn science from thrash, has also been honoured. He has made 6,200 short films on toy-making in 18 languages and also hosted popular TV show Tarang in 1980s.

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. His ‘The London Jungle Book’ sold 30,000 copies and it was published in five foreign languages.

West Bengal’s Sudhanshu Biswas, a freedom fighter who serves poor, runs school and orphanages and set up 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 neo natal cases. Maharashtra’s Murlikant Petkar, India’s first Paralympics gold medalist who lost his arm in 1965 Indo-Pak war, is another winner of Padma Shri.

Subhasini Mistry, from rural West Bengal who toiled 20 years as housemaid and daily labourer to build a hospital for poor, is another awardee. Nonagenarian farm labourer Sulagatti Narasamma, who provides midwifery services in the backward region of Karnataka, too was awarded Padma Shri. Another awardee is Yeshi Dhoden, monk physician of Tibetan herbal medicine working in remote areas of Himachal.


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