Venkaiah Naidu in Washington, minorities in India
Naidu served as the 13th vice president of India. File photo

Venkaiah Naidu, Vyjayantimala, Mithun, Vijayakanth among 132 Padma awardees

Recipients of the Padma Vibhushan are Naidu, actors Vyjayantimala and Chiranjeevi, Sulabh International founder late Bindeshwar Pathak and Bharatnatyam dancer Padma Subrahmanyam

Former Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, actors Vyjayantimala Bali and Konidela Chiranjeevi, Sulabh International founder late Bindeshwar Pathak, first woman judge of Supreme Court late M Fathima Beevi and Bombay Samachar owner Hormusji N Cama are among the 132 eminent persons who will be conferred with the Padma awards.

According to an official statement released by the government on Thursday (January 25), the eve of Republic Day actor Mithun Chakraborty, Foxconn Chairman Young Liu from Taiwan, BJP veteran Ram Naik, late actor Vijayakanth, singer Usha Uthup and philanthropist Kiran Nadar will be feted with the civilian awards.

The government already announced on Tuesday that it would confer the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, on two-time Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur posthumously.

Actor Vyjayantimala, Chiranjeevi, as well as Naidu, Pathak and Padma Subrahmanyam will receive the Padma Vibhushan while BJP leader Ram Naik, Uthup and actor Vijayakanth are among 17 people chosen for the Padma Bhusan.

Unsung heroes

The Padma awardees also include 34 unsung heroes including India's first woman elephant mahout Parbati Baruah, famously known as "Hasti Kanya", tribal environmentalist Chami Murmu, social worker Sangthankima who runs Mizoram's largest orphanage and plastic surgeon Prema Dhanraj.

Padma Bhushan was awarded to 17 prominent persons including Beevi, Cama, Chakraborty, Young, Vijaykanth, Uthup, Naik, Group Editor and CEO of Gujarati newspaper Janmabhoomi Kundan Vyas, veteran actor and director Dattatray Ambadas Mayaloo, former Union health minister CP Thakur and BJP leader Olanchery Rajagopal.

Tennis player Rohan Bopanna, Nadar, hockey player Harbinder Singh, professional squash player Joshna Chinappa, first person of Indian origin elected to the Parliament of Papua New Guinea Sasindran Muthuvel, and banker Kalpana Morparia are among 110 personalities awarded Padma Shri.

Rabindra Sangeet exponent from Bangladesh Rezwana Choudhury Bannya, 100-year French Yoga Teacher Charlotte Chopin, singer Surendra Mohan Mishra have been given Padma Shri.

"‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of the Republic Day every year," the statement said.

It said President Droupadi Murmu has approved conferment of 132 Padma Awards including 30 women and eight persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and nine posthumous awardees.

Modi congratulates awardees

In a post on X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Congratulations to all those who have been conferred the Padma Awards. India cherishes their contribution across diverse sectors. May they continue to inspire people with their exceptional work."

Home Minister Amit Shah said Prime Minister Modi has "rationalised" the Padma Awards ceremony to make it a platform to appreciate individuals setting pioneering examples for social change.

"I extend my warmest congratulations to the change makers of our society who have been selected for the Padma Awards for their distinguished contributions to different fields," Shah said on X.

"The individuals conferred with the Padma Awards have not only created brilliant examples for others to follow but also have elevated the pride of the nation with their service," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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