21 Women Among 112 Padma Awardees This Year
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday sent out a press release announcing the Padma awards for 2019, one of the highest civilian awards of the country. They are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. This year, President Ram Nath Kovind has approved conferment of 112 Padma Awards, including for a duo. The list comprises four Padma Vibhushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri Awards. As many as 21 of the awardees are women. The list also includes 11 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI, three posthumous awardees, and one transgender person.
Read on to know more about the 21 women Padma awardees:
Teejan Bai (Art-Vocals-Folk)
Dr Teejan Bai is a leading performing artist and a contemporary exponent of Pandavani. She sings the narrative of the Mahabharata, the ancient Indian epic.
Bachendri Pal (Sports)
She had conquered Mount Everest in 1984 and became the first Indian woman to achieve this feat. She is considered an Iron lady in mountaineering. Thirty-five years after getting the Padma Shri, Bachendri Pal will be honoured with the Padma Bhushan.
Muktaben Pankajkumar Dagli & Draupadi Ghimiray (Social work)
Muktaben Pankajkumar Dagli from Gujarat and Draupadi Ghimiray from Sikkim are recipients of the Padma Shri. They have done social work for the welfare of India’s Divyang (disabled) community.
Rajkumari Devi (Others-Agriculture)
Rajkumari Devi is from Anandpur village in Muzaffarpur. She was also awarded the Kisan Shree award.
Bhagirathi Devi (Public Affairs)
Bhagirathi Devi is an Indian politician. She is a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly.
Harika Dronavalli (Sports-Chess)
Harika Dronavilli followed in the footsteps of Humpy Koneru to become only the second Indian woman to gain the men’s grandmaster title.
Godawari Dutta (Art-Painting)
She is an important contributor to Madhubani painting in the country and abroad. Dutta won The National Award in 1980. She was also bestowed the title of “Shilp Guru” by President Pratibha Patil in 2006.
- Narthaki Nataraj (Dancer)
54-year-old Narthaki Nataraj is a renowned dancer from Tamil Nadu and has become the first person from the transgender community to be honoured with one of the top civilian awards in India.
Rohini Godbole (Science & Engineering-Nuclear)
Prof. Rohini Godbole is an Indian physicist and academic. She is a professor at the Centre for High Energy Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Friederike Irina (Foreigner) (Social Work-Animal Welfare)
She came to India in 1978 as a tourist from Berlin, Germany, and has taken in over 1,200 cows and is nursing them to health in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. She started a cowshed known as ‘Surbhai Gauseva Niketan’.
Bombayla Devi Laishram (Sports-Archery)
Bombayla Devi Laishram, whose nickname is Bom, is a sportsperson who represents India at archery. She represented India at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the women’s individual as well as team events.
Gita Mehta (Foreigner) (Literature & Education)
Gita Mehta is an Indian-born author. She is the sister of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and daughter of former CM Biju Patnaik. She has rejected the Padma award, saying,”I must decline as there is a general election looming and the timing of the award might be misconstrued, causing embarrassment both to the Government and myself, which I would much regret.”
Madurai Chinna Pillai (Social Work-Microfinance)
Madurai Chinna Pillai is from a small village near Madurai. She started a very successful banking system in the villages in Tamil Nadu and is trying to reduce poverty and debt grievances by empowering women.
Tao Porchon-Lynch (Foreigner) (Others-Yoga)
Tao Porchon-Lynch is an American yoga master and award-winning author of French and Indian descent. She discovered yoga in 1926 when she was eight years old in India and studied with, among others, Sri Aurobindo, B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois, Swami Prabhavananda, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Kamala Pujhari (Others-Agriculture)
She is a tribal agricultural activist and a member of Odisha Planning Board. The tribal woman from Koraput district became famous by preserving hundreds of local varieties of paddy and promoting organic farming.
Milena Salvini (Foreigner) (Art-Dance-Kathakali)
She is a trained classical dancer of Kathakali, Bharatanatyam, and Mohiniyattom from the reputed Kerala Kalamandalam.
Prashanti Singh (Sports-Basketball)
Prashanti Singh is a shooting guard for the Indian national women’s basketball team. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India honoured her with the Arjuna Award in 2017.
Sharada Srinivasan (Others-Archaeology)
Sharada Srinivasan is an archaeologist specializing in the scientific study of art, archaeology, archaeometallurgy, and culture. She is associated with the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India, and an Honorary University Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK.
Saalumarada Thimmakka (Social Work-Environment)
Saalumarada Thimmakka also known as Alada Marada Thimakka is an Indian environmentalist from the state of Karnataka. Her work in planting and tending to 385 banyan trees along a four-kilometer stretch of highway between Hulikal and Kudur has been remarkable.
Jamuna Tudu (Social Work-Environment)
She is also called the “Lady Tarzan”. 2014 Sthree Shakti award and 2013 Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award were awarded to her. The NITI Aayog selected her for the Women Transforming India Award 2017.
Sonakshi Goel is an intern at SheThePeople.TV
Inputs by Ria Das