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.