Venkaiah Naidu, Mithun Chakraborty, Usha Uthup, Ram Naik conferred with Padma Awards


Former vice president M. Venkaiah Naidu, founder of Sulabh International Bindeshwar Pathak and a host of other prominent persons were conferred with Padma Awards by President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday.

Naidu, Pathak, who was given the award posthumously, and renowned Bharatanatyam dancer Padma Subrahmanyam were conferred with the Padma Vibhushan. Pathak's wife Amola received the award from the President.

Actor Mithun Chakraborty, singer Usha Uthup, former Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik and industrialist Sitaram Jindal were conferred with the Padma Bhushan.

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, among others, were present at the function.

Gujarat-based cardiologist Tejas Madhusudan Patel, veteran Marathi film director Dattatray Ambadas Mayaloo alias Rajdutt and Chandreshwar Prasad Thakur, a distinguished Physician known globally for his contribution to research and policy on Kala Azar, were given the Padma Bhushan.

Padma Shri awardees include master carpet weaver from Uttar Pradesh Khalil Ahamad, Madhya Pradesh's folk singer Kaluram Bamaniya, Bangladeshi singer Rezwana Choudhury Bannya and Chikankari embroidery artist from Uttar Pradesh Naseem Bano.

Rajbongshi folk singer from West Bengal's Cooch Behar Gita Roy Barman, tennis player Rohan Bopanna, spiritual figure from Tripura Chitta Ranjan Debbarma, banker Kalpana Morparia, philanthropist Kiran Nadar, social worker from Haryana Gurvinder Singh and folk singer from Uttar Pradesh Urmila Srivastava were also given the Padma Shri.

The Padma Awards ceremony also witnessed some heartwarming moments.

One such moment was when noted folk dancer from Assam Drona Bhuyan made Ojapali and Deodhani dance form gestures to express his gratitude as he walked on the red carpet to receive the Padma Shri from the President.

While returning to his seat, he went to Modi and touched his feet, a gesture the prime minister reciprocated.

Bhuyan is a prominent Ojapali and Deodhani dancer from Darrang district in Assam, where he has been working to preserve a thousand-year-old tradition, performing stories from epics and Puranas.

The prime minister was also seen interacting with Tripura's spiritual leader Chitta Ranjan Debbarma, who was wearing a saffron attire.

Tribal farmer from Assam Sarbeswar Basumatary sat on his knees to express his gratitude before coming to accept the award from the President.

Padma Awards, one of the highest civilian honours of the country, are conferred in three categories—Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

The awards are given in various disciplines or fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.

The Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service, the Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order and the Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.

The awards are announced on the eve of Republic Day every year.

For 2024, the President had approved conferment of 132 Padma awards, including two duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one).

The list comprises five Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 110 Padma Shri awards.

As many as 30 of the awardees are women and the list also includes eight people from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and nine posthumous awardees.

While almost half of the awardees were conferred the awards on Monday, the remaining are likely to get them next week.

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