PADMA AWARDS DECLARED FOR THIS YEAR: P V SINDHU, KANGANA RANAUT, AND KARAN JOHAR AMONG THOSE HONOURED

The ceremony of honouring Padma awardees was held in New Delhi on Monday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The awards were presented by President Ram Nath Kovind. Among those awarded this year is actress Kangana Ranaut, badminton player PV Sindhu, director and producer Karan Johar and many others. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Amit Shah and S Jayashakar were present at the function as attendees. This year, 140 Padma Awards were presented by the President for the two years, out of which there are 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 122 Padma Shri. 29 of this year’s awardees are women, 16 Posthumous awardees and 1 transgender awardee.

Harekala Habba, of the Dakshina Kannada district, an orange seller and a social activist was awarded the Padma Shri for starting a school with his meagre earnings. “This award belongs to all those who helped in building the school. The government schools are, in no way, inferior to private schools,” he said, urging students to study in government-run schools. He wore his signature dhoti, white shirt and walked barefoot to receive the award. Among those posthumously awarded are former finance minister Arun Jaitley, former External affairs minister and long time BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, singer S P Balasubramanyam, former union minister, trade unionist and socialist George Fernandez, Bangladeshi Diplomat Syed Muazzem Ali, etc.

Bollywood too took home their honours with actress Kangana Ranaut who was presented with the Padma Shri. “I started my journey from a small village in Himachal Pradesh, and for me to be in the same league as these bigwigs we have grown up watching, whether it is Karan’s films or Ekta Kapoor’s serials… We knew these people, growing up. And who has not heard Adnan Sami ji’s songs? For a girl like me, to get a Padma Shri alongside them is a matter of pride,” she said. “Humbled and overwhelmed”, said producer Ekta Kapoor who was also awarded the Padma Shri, she tweeted, “Through the years I’ve realised it’s never ‘too soon’ to live out your dreams and being ‘too young’ is probably the best thing. Today, as I’m conferred with the 4th highest civilian honour- ‘Padma Shri’, I’m humbled.” Director and Producer Karan Johar were among the main winners from Bollywood this year. “Today felt surreal! I am honoured and humbled that the prestigious Padma Shri Award was bestowed on me… Thank you so much for all your wishes and the abundance of love!”, he tweeted expressing his joy. Music composer Adnan Sami who was awarded said, “I dedicate this to my father-mother. It’s not only an honour but also a responsibility, which I’ll try to carry out well”. Badminton superstar and Olympian PV Sindhu received the Padma Bhushan this year for her outstanding contributions to Indian sports. “It is a proud moment. I am thankful to the Government of India,” she said on being honoured. Other major winners from sports were boxer Mary Kom who was conferred with Padma Vibhushan and Rani Rampal, the captain of the women’s hockey team was awarded Padma Shri. A total of 11 sports persons were nominated this year. 

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