New Delhi, January 25
Pioneer of the oral rehydration solution Dilip Mahalanabis from West Bengal, a doctor working with the Jarawa tribes of Andamans and snake catchers from Tamil Nadu are among 26 unsung heroes who have featured in the list of Padma Awardees for this year.
Dilip Mahalanabis, who pioneered the wide use of oral rehydration solution (ORS) estimated to have saved 5 crore lives annually has been selected for Padma Vibhushan award, the second highest civilian honour, while 25 Padma Shris this year are leaders who have contributed immensely to their respective fields but have remained obscure all their lives.
These 25 unsung Padma Shris include Ratan Chandra Kar, a retired government doctor from Andamans working with the Jarawa tribe; Hirabai Lob, a Siddi tribal social worker from Gujarat; Munishwar Chander Dawar, a war veteran from Jabalpur known for treating underprivileged for over 50 years.
Ghulam Muhammad Zaz, an eighth generation santoor craftsman from a family known for making the finest Santoors in Kashmir for the last 200 years; Bhanubhai Chitara (7th generation Kalamkari artist from the Chunara community, carrying forward the legacy of the 400 year old traditional craft ofMata ni Pachedi; Gujarat) and Paresh Rathwa (Pithora Artist from Chhota Udepur, promoting the ancient cultural heritage; Gujarat) are in the league of Padma Shris too.
Ramkuiwangbe Newme (Naga social worker from Dima Haso who worked to preserve the heraka region); VP Appukuttan Poduval (Gandhian from Payyanur); Sankurathri Sekhar (Kakinada based social worker); Vadivel Gopal and Masi Sadaiyan of Tamil Nadu (expert snake catchers from Irula tribe known for catching poisonous snakes) are also among unsung Padma winners, so are Tula Ram Upreti (98 year old self sustained small farmer from Sikkim); Nekram Sharma (organic farmer from Mandi); Janum Singh Soy (Tribal Ho language scholar from Jharkhand); Dhaniram Toto, Toto language preserver from Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and B Ramakrishna Reddy (80-year-old Linguistics Professor fromTelangana).
Ajay Kumar Mandavi (Gond Tribal Wood Carver from Kanker); Rani Machhaiah (Ummathat Folk Dancer from Kodagu, promoting and preserving Kodava culture through dance); K C Runremsangi (Queen of Mizo folk); Risingbor Kurkalang (Tribal Duitara Instrument Maker and Musician from East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya); Mangala Kanti Roy (102-year-old Sarinda Player from Jalpaiguri, popular as one of the oldest folk musicians of West Bengal) have also been included in the list of Padma Shri.
The others among 25 unsung Padma Shris are Moa Subong (eminent Naga Musician and Innovator who developed a new and easy to play instrument ‘Bamhum’, a wind musical instrument made from bamboo), Munivenkatappa (Veteran Thamate exponent from Chikkaballapur, working tirelessly towards the preservation and promotion of the folk instrument Thamate; Karnataka); Domar Singh Kunvar (Chhattisgarhi Natya Nacha Artist, dedicated his life to keeping the tradition alive since last 5 decades) and Parshuram Komaji Khune (Zadipatti Rangbhumi artist from Gadchiroli, having played 800 different roles in more than 5,000 drama shows).