Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, singer S P Balasubramaniam, sculptor Sudarshan Sahoo among recipients of this year's Padma Awards
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and late singer S P Balasubramaniam have been honoured with India's second-highest civilian award Padma Vibhushan this year, while former chief ministers Tarun Gogoi and Keshubhai Patel and former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan will receive Padma Bhushan, posthumously.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is also among the 10 Padma Bhushan awardees announced on Monday, while no one has been named for Bharat Ratna — India's highest civilian award.
Apart from this, eminent sculptor Sudarshan Sahoo from Odisha has been named for this year's Padma Vibhushan, while writer-illustrator Narayan Debnath, Mithila painter Dulari Devi, and Rajasthani music artist Lakha Khan will be conferred with Padma Shri. Renowned illustrator of children's magazine 'Chandamama' KC Sivasankar will be awarded the Padma Shri, posthumously.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs said the President has approved conferment of 119 Padma awards — seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan, and 102 Padma Shri.
The awardees include 29 women and one transgender. Meanwhile, there are 10 persons from the categories of foreigners, non-resident Indians (NRI), persons of Indian origin (PIO), and overseas citizen of India (OCI), while 16 have been awarded posthumously.
"Congratulations to all those who have been conferred the prestigious Padma Awards. Through People's Padma, Modi govt is honouring the exceptional work of common people. May these awardees continue to serve the society and humanity with the same passion," Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.
Former governor late Mridula Sinha and former Union Minister Bijoya Chakravarty are among the Padma Shri winners.
The 102 Padma Shri awardees also include Col Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir, a veteran of the Bangladesh liberation war; artist Gulfam Ahmed from Uttar Pradesh; basketball player P Anitha from Tamil Nadu, and litterateur Sujit Chattopadhyay from West Bengal.
Saree weavers Biren Kumar Basak from West Bengal, Radhe Devi from Manipur, puppeteers Parshuram Atmaram Gangavane from Maharashtra; K Kesavasamy from Puducherry; and KK Ramachandra Pulavar from Kerala will also receive the fourth-highest civilian award.
Other awardees, including table tennis player Mouma Das; Rattan Lal Mittal, a physician from Punjab; Chaman Lal Sapru, an academician from Jammu and Kashmir (posthumous); and Birubala Rabha, a social worker from Assam will be conferred the Padma Shri.
The seven Padma Vibhushan awardees include Belle Monappa Hegde, an eminent cardiologist from Karnataka; Indian-American physicist Narinder Singh Kapany (posthumous); Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan; and archaeologist BB Lal.