Padma Shri Awardee on 75th Republic Day 

Priyanshi Pareek

We all have heard about Padma Shri awards, do we know who all have recently got it?

Let us together have the knowledge about all those people who recently received Padma Shri award for their unique contribution.

As India celebrates its 75th Republic Day, on January 26, the country has recognised the contributions of 132 citizens with Padma Awards for their contributions to various fields.

Prabati Baruah 

Parbati Baruah, renowned as ‘Hasti Kanya,’ achieved distinction as India’s inaugural female elephant mahout. Honoured with the Padma Shri, she is recognized for her impactful contributions to animal conservation, breaking gender barriers in a historically male-dominated domain.

Jageshwar Yadav

Jageshwar Yadav, a dedicated Tribal Welfare Worker from Jashpur, Chhattisgarh, received the Padma Shri for his impactful contributions to Social Work (Tribal PVTG). Aged 67, Yadav devoted his life to uplifting the marginalised Birhor Pahadi Korwa communities. He established an Ashram in Jashpur, addressing illiteracy and improving healthcare through camps. During the pandemic, he actively participated in vaccination campaigns, addressing hesitancy and reducing infant mortality. Despite financial challenges, his unwavering passion centres on fostering positive social change.

Chami Murmu

Chami Murmu, a 52-year-old Tribal Environmentalist, and Women Empowerment advocate from Seraikela Kharsawan, is awarded the Padma Shri in Social Work (Environment Afforestation). Leading afforestation with 3,000 women, she planted over 30 lakh plants, empowering 30,000+ women in 40+ villages through SHGs and employment. As the founder of ‘Sahayogi Mahila,’ she addressed safe motherhood, anaemia, malnutrition, and promoted education for adolescent girls. Murmu’s unwavering efforts against illegal logging, timber mafia, and naxal activities, along with dedication to wildlife and forest protection, establish her as a force in environmental conservation.

Gurvinder Singh 

Gurvinder Singh, a 53-year-old Divyang Social Worker from Sirsa, is a Padma Shri awardee for his substantial contributions in Social Work (Divyang). Despite personal adversity, being paralyzed from the waist down after a truck accident, Singh displayed unwavering dedication to improving the lives of the homeless, destitute, women, orphans, and Divyangjan. Notable initiatives include nurturing the dreams of 300 children through Bal Gopal Dham and providing free ambulance services to over 6,000 accident victims and pregnant women. His resilience, turning personal tragedy into meaningful welfare work, stands as a remarkable example.

Sathyanarayana Beleri

Sathyanarayana Beleri, a 50-year-old paddy farmer from Kasaragod, is being awarded the Padma Shri in Others (Agriculture Cereal Rice). Recognized for preserving 650 traditional rice varieties, he introduced ‘Rajakayame’ rice, benefiting production in Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Using the innovative ‘Polybag Method’ over 15 years, he conserved indigenous rice varieties and traditional seeds of arecanut, nutmeg, and black pepper. Additionally, he supported research by providing 50 rice varieties to research centres and distributed free rice seeds to farmers.

Dukhu Majhi

Dukhu Majhi, a 78-year-old Tribal Environmentalist from Sindri village, Purulia, is receiving the Padma Shri in Social Work (Environment Afforestation). He planted over 5,000 Banyan, Mango, and Blackberry trees on barren land, cycling daily to new destinations. Despite limited education due to financial constraints, he innovatively tackled wood theft, promoting tree importance for a greener future since age 12.

K Chellammal

K Chellammal, a 69-year-old organic farmer from South Andaman, will be honoured with the Padma Shri in Agriculture Organic. She successfully developed a 10-acre organic farm, implemented efficient coconut and palm tree damage control measures, and promoted intercropping methods. Chellammal’s innovations have resulted in an annual coconut harvest of over 27,000 and the cultivation of 2 hectares of coconut plantation with 460 palms. Despite her education up to class 6, she has been a pioneering force in organic farming for over five decades, inspiring 150 farmers to adopt sustainable practices.

Sangthankima

Sangthankima, a 63-year-old social worker from Aizawl, will receive the Padma Shri in Social Work (Children). Recognized for his 30-year commitment, he has tackled issues like children’s welfare, addiction, HIV-AIDS awareness, and education. Through Mizoram’s largest orphanage, ‘Thutak Nunpuitu Team,’ he provides shelter and rehabilitation services to orphans, divyangjan, drug addicts, and alcoholics. His impact also extends to North Eastern communities and Burmese populations via rehabilitation centres in four Assam districts.

Hemchand Manjhi

Hemchand Manjhi, a 70-year-old traditional medicinal practitioner from Narayanpur, will be awarded the Padma Shri in Medicine (AYUSH Traditional Medicine). Known for his five-decade dedication, he provides affordable healthcare using special herb knowledge from the remote forests of Abujhmarh. Despite facing threats and attacks by Naxals, he persists in treating patients with sincerity and zeal.

Yanung Jamoh Lego

Yanung Jamoh Lego, a 58-year-old herbal medicine expert from East Siang, will receive the Padma Shri in Agriculture Medicinal Plants. She has provided medical care to over 10,000 patients, educated 1 lakh individuals on medicinal herbs, and promoted the cultivation of over 5,000 medicinal plants annually. Despite financial constraints, she is instrumental in reviving the traditional healing system of the Adi tribe and preserving medicinal knowledge in Arunachal Pradesh.

Somanna

Somanna, a 66-year-old Tribal Welfare Worker from Mysuru, receives the Padma Shri in Social Work (Tribal PVTG). Over four decades, he secured title deeds for 500+ tribal communities, ensuring legal recognition and protection. His impact extends to environmental conservation, emphasizing the importance of preserving natural habitats. Hailing from the Jenu Kuruba tribe in Nilgiris, Somanna’s journey from bonded laborer to advocate for tribal rights has significantly contributed to the upliftment of his community and others.

Prema Dhanraj

Prema Dhanraj, a 72-year-old Plastic Reconstructive Surgeon and Social Worker, will receive the Padma Shri in Medicine (Indigenous Burns). Founder of Agni Raksha NGO, she provided free surgery to 25,000 burn victims, authored three books on Plastic Surgery, and established Ethiopia’s first burns unit. Surviving 50% burns at age 8, she triumphed over personal tragedy, becoming a Surgeon and Head of Department at Christian Medical College Vellore after undergoing over 14 surgeries as a child. Prema Dhanraj is a resilient force driving positive change in burn care and prevention.

Sarbeswar Basumatary

Sarbeswar Basumatary, a 61-year-old Tribal Farmer from Assam’s Chirang, receives the Padma Shri for successfully adopting a mixed integrated farming approach. Cultivating diverse crops like coconuts, oranges, paddy, litchis, and maize, he shares his knowledge with other farmers, uplifting livelihoods. Despite lacking formal education and starting as a daily wage laborer, Sarbeswar stands as a role model for the agricultural community, showcasing enduring spirit and enthusiasm.

Uday Vishwanath Deshpande

Uday Vishwanath Deshpande, a 70-year-old International Mallakhamb Coach, is honored with the Padma Shri in Sports (Coach – Mallakhamb). Recognized for revitalizing and popularizing the sport globally, he personally trained over 5,000 individuals from 50 countries, introducing Mallakhamb to diverse groups. As the director of Vishwa Mallakhamb Federation, he played a key role in expanding its international reach. Uday’s rule-book for judgment and competition, recognized by the Indian Olympic Association, has standardized regulations in the sport.

Yazdi Maneksha Italia

Yazdi Maneksha Italia, a 72-year-old, is honored with the Padma Shri for dedicating his life to combating sickle cell anemia among Tribals in Gujarat. Pioneering India’s Sickle Cell Anemia Control Program, he introduced newborn screening with heel prick dry blood samples in collaboration with ICMR. This initiative prevented new births with Sickle Cell Disease, screening 2 lakh tribals. His extensive efforts covered screening over 95 lakh tribal individuals, identifying 7.2 lakh Sickle Cell trait cases, and issuing colour-coded cards for effective counselling.

Shanti Devi Paswan & Shivam Paswan

A husband-wife duo from the Dusadh community, overcoming social stigma, achieved global recognition as Godna painters, exhibiting in countries like the USA and Japan. Their art, focused on the community’s epics, features Raja Sailesh as a key character. Shanti Devi, who faced caste discrimination, showcased her talent at the G20 Summit. Despite financial constraints, they trained over 20,000 women, with Shivan passing on the skill to the youth. Their journey reflects resilience, breaking barriers, and promoting cultural art globally.

Ratan Kahar

A renowned Bhadu Folk Singer from Birbhum, with over 60 years in folk music, excels in Bhadu festival songs, Tuşu, Jhumur, and Alkab genres. Known for roles in Jatra Folk theatre, his composition ‘Boro Loker Biti Lo’ is popular. Despite financial hardships, he began singing at 16, leaving a lasting impact on the folk music scene.

Ashok Kumar Biswas

A prolific Tikuli Painter, for over five decades, has been credited with reviving and modifying the Mauryan era art form. Exporting countless paintings, he provided free training to over 8,000 female artists, popularizing Tikuli art internationally through exhibitions in five countries. He left his job to dedicate his life to this artistic revival.

Balkrishan Sadanam Puthiya Veetil

A distinguished Kalluvazhi Kathakali Dancer with a 60-year career, gained global acclaim, gracing 30 festivals across 25 countries. A choreographer, he crafted 35 new plays, adapting Shakespeare into Kathakali. His literary contribution includes compiling 14 Aattakathakal. A respected Guru, he started as a Senior Artist in Delhi’s Dance Institute in 1974, later becoming its Director by 1980. Many of his disciples have become accomplished performers.

Uma Maheshwari D

The first female Harikatha exponent proficient in Telugu and Sanskrit, showcasing her skills in various ragas. She authored over four Harikathas, featuring figures like Ramana Maharshi and Potti Sriramulu. Her contribution has inspired young girls to break traditional barriers and adopt the art. Hailing from a family of musicians, she is the grandchild of the renowned Nadaswara Vidwan late Daliparti Pichihari.

Gopinath Swain

A Krishna Leela singer from Ganjam, dedicated his life to preserving and promoting the tradition. Committed to traditional techniques and improvisational methods, he bridged the gap between past and present. Teaching five ancient ragas, establishing Akhadas, and imparting knowledge to numerous disciples, he continues to propagate this unique art despite old age. Coming from a family of Krishna Leela performers, he commenced his musical journey at the young age of 5.

Smriti Rekha Chakma

A Chakma Loinloom Shawl Weaver from Tripura, she transforms eco-friendly, vegetable-dyed cotton threads into traditional designs, emphasizing the use of natural dyes. She founded Ujeia Jadha, a socio-cultural organization, to train rural women in weaving. Engaging in the entire dyeing process, she personally collects materials from forests before drying, crushing, and applying colors. Drawing inspiration from her grandmother’s traditional Naga weaving methods on the binloom during her childhood, she now imparts training to the younger generation.

Omprakash Sharma

A Mach Theatre Artist with 7 decades of dedication to promoting the 200-year-old traditional dance drama of the Malwa region. He authored scripts and adapted Sanskrit plays for Mach theater productions, serving as an educator at NSD Delhi and Bharat Bhavan Bhopal, passing on his expertise. From a humble background, he learned the art form from his father under Ustaad Kaluran Mach Akhada.

Narayanan E P

A veteran Theyyam Folk Dancer from Kannur, mastering the entire Theyyam ecosystem, including costume designing and face painting techniques. With a six-decade-long career that began at the age of 5, he has showcased his art in 300 performances across 20 variants of Theyyam. Theyyam is an ancient folk ritual encompassing theatre, music, mime, and dance, typically performed in front of village shrines with musical instruments like Chenda, Elathalam, and Kurumkuzal. Starting as a driver, he is now dedicatedly working towards conserving this ancient art form.

Bhagabat Padhan

An exponent of Sabda Nrutya Folk dance from Bargarh, dedicated over five decades to preserving and popularizing this art beyond temples. Considered the dance of Mahadev, he trained over 600 dancers, significantly contributing to sustaining the dance form. Despite financial challenges as a Lower Primary School teacher in the 1960s, he unwaveringly maintained his devotion to the art.

Sanantan Rudra Pal 

A distinguished sculptor with over 5 decades of experience, specializing in crafting Sabeki Durga idols. His work adorns more than 30 pandals each year during Durga Puja celebrations, earning recognition from UNESCO. Providing employment to over 1,500 individuals, he has developed a unique style that showcases impressive idols with captivating, radiant eyes.

Badrappan M

An exponent of Valli Oyil Kummi Folk Dance from Coimbatore, addressing social issues and spreading knowledge about Indian history and mythology. Breaking the tradition of male dominance, Badrappan championed women empowerment by training female artists in this dance form.

Jordan Lepecha

A Bamboo Craftsman from Mangan, preserving the cultural heritage of the Lepcha tribe by weaving traditional Lepcha hats and bamboo crafts for 25 years. A skilled artisan and trainer, he has taught over 150 youths, empowering them to establish their own Bamboo Crafts. Additionally, he is a marginal farmer and carpenter.

Machihan Sasa

A Longpi Potter from Ukhrul dedicated five decades to preserving the ancient Manipuri traditional pottery, Longpi Pottery, rooted in the Neolithic period (10,000 BC). Using black serpentine stone and brown clay without a wheel, he creates and markets various pottery products, infusing new designs inspired by Manipuri folk art. His training efforts have benefited over 300 individuals, reviving the art form and creating a sustainable income source for villagers.

Gaddam Sammaiah

Renowned Chindu Yakshaganam artist from Jangaon, with 50+ years of experience and 19,000 shows. Addresses social issues, founded Chindu Yaksha Kalakarula Sangham & Gaddam Sammaiah Yuva Kala Skethram to promote the art. From a humble background, learned from parents who were Chindu Yakshaganam artists.

Jankilal

Bhilwara’s Behrupiya artist for 60+ years, mastering characters from mythology. Upholding a 3-generation legacy, he promotes the local art in Mewar, Rajasthan, despite financial challenges.

Dasari Kondappa

3rd-gen Burra Veena player from Damaragidda, Narayanpet, preserving the art. Last exponent of Burra Veena, sings in Telugu, Kannada. Indigenous instrument using bamboo, gourd, and metal strings. Went beyond community tradition to attract wider audiences.

Babu Ram Yadav

Experienced Brass Marori craftsperson for 60+ years, showcasing globally, exporting products, and conducting free training for 1,000 artisans, including leprosy patients. Founded Artisan Light for economic support to artisan communities.

Nepal Chandra Sutradhar 

Third-generation Chhau mask maker with 50+ years preserving the art. Trained 70+ Chhau Dance Groups, conducted workshops nationally and internationally. Learned the craft from father and grandfather at age 8. Posthumous (Nov 2023).

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