Representative image of the Padma award
New Delhi: Sakshi Malik, Virat Kohli and Dipa Karmakar lead the list of Padma Shri awardees this year. But, the real heroes of this year’s Padma list are achievers whom the government calls, “unsung heroes”. Almost 50% of the total awardees are achievers who had not been recognised so far.
The oldest Woman Kalaripayattu (martial art form) exponent, Meenakshi Amma, affectionately called ‘Granny with the Sword’, Daripalli Ramaiah or the ‘Tree Man of Telangana’ who has planted over one crore trees in his lifetime, Dr Subrato Das of Gujarat who provides emergency treatment on highways, and Doctor Dadi aka Dr Bhakti Yadav, a 91-year-old gynecologist who has been serving the poor for free for over 60 years are some of the achievers recognised by the government this year.
“These are the people for whom no recommendation came. Our own research team dug out information about them, cross-checked with local district officials and then sent it to Padma Committee for consideration,” Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told CNN-News18.
Government had opened up Padma nominations and recommendations by inviting applications online too this year.
Among the Padma Vibhusan awardees are politicians Sharad Pawar, Murli Manohar Joshi and the late Sunder Lal Patwa.
Wahida Rehman, S Gurumurthy and 17 others, including Home and Cabinet secretaries, were part of the Padma Committee this year.