Padma honour for seven

From a man who built 128 bridges to a woman who bridged gaps in a society with her love for folk music, the Padma awards this year honoured legends who have made a difference to the world

Published: 26th January 2017 02:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th January 2017 03:46 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The state’s Padma awards haul includes one Padma Vibhushan and six Padma Shri awards. In the list of  award winners announced on Wednesday, former ISRO chairman U R Rao has been honoured with Padma Vibhushan for his contribution to science. While none from Karnataka features in the list of Padma Bhushan winners, six have been awarded the Padma Shri.

The Padma Shri awardees are Bharathi Vishnuvardhan (cinema), Sukri Bommagowda (music), Prof G Venkatasubbaiah (literature and education), Girish Bhardwaj (social work), Shekar Naik (cricket) and Vikas Gowda (discus throw).

padma vibhushan

Prof U R Rao
(Science & Engineering)
One of the most distinguished scientists in the country, Udupi Ramachandra Rao, is the first Indian to be inducted in the Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington, in 2013.
The former ISRO chairman has worked extensively in the field of space science and technology. After a stint in the US, he returned to India and was one of the important people behind the design and development of several satellites and launch vehicles, including the first Indian satellite ‘Aryabhata’.
Apart from satellite technology, he has published more than 300 technical papers on national and international journals in subjects such as high energy physics, rocket technology and space applications.
Currently, the 84-year-old is serving as the Chancellor of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology. He has authored many books and has received 21 honorary doctorates from different universities.

BDA bags most prizes in R-Day show
Bengaluru: The Bangalore Development Authority has topped the list of award winners in government organisations in the Republic Day Horticultural Show 2017 held at Lalbagh Botanical Garden by bagging the maximum number of prizes, rolling shields and trophies. The BDA has won 115 first prizes, which include 73 first prizes for showcasing the best exhibits of ornamental plants and 42 prizes for its vegetable potted plants. It has also won 18 rolling shields and rolling cups.

Girish Bharadwaj (Social Work)
Girish Bharadwaj is known for building steel bridges in rural villages. A native of Bharadhwarashrama hamlet in Aramburu village, Bharadwaj (67) set up a fabricating unit in Sullia. His first hanging bridge was built across the Payaswini river in 1989. When Express called him, he was busy building a bridge in the deeply forested area of Dongri village in Ankola taluk in Uttara Kannada district. Till date, he has built 128 bridges. Most of them are in Karnataka (91) and in Kerala, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Girish Bharadwaj has built three bridges in his native Sullia taluk.

President’s medal for Home Guards personnel
Bengaluru: Three officers of Karnataka Home Guards and Civil Defence department will be awarded the President’s Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal on Thursday for their meritorious service. M Srinivasa, CQMS, Home Guards, Bengaluru North District, K H Byadagi, Platoon Commander,Home Guards, Dharwad district and Devi Prasad Shetty, Divisional Warden, Civil Defence, Bengaluru will receive the awards.

Bharathi Vishnuvardhan (Cinema)
Actor Bharathi Vishnuvardhan, who started her film career in 1966, went on to dominate the silver screen for many decades. Bharathi, the shining star of Kannada cinema, also became the top heroine of Tamil, Telugu and Malyalam films. This legendary actress, who has completed 50 glorious years in filmdom, made her foray into Hindi films with director A Bhimsingh’s ‘Meherbaan’. Sandhya Raga, Doorada Betta, Bangarada Manushya and Runa Muktalu were among her criticially acclaimed films. Bharathi was married to legendary actor Dr Vishnuvardhan who died on December 30, 2009.

Shekhar Naik (cricket)
For someone like Shekhar Naik, the Padma Shri award is a just reward for what a blind cricketer has to go through. Unlike the regular cricketers, there is hardly any recognition for the blind cricket team. Naik, hailing from Shivamogga, has braved all odds and personal tragedies to play cricket. He rose to become the captain, first in 2010, of the Indian team that won world titles. Naik said: “Due to blind cricket, I have got this recognition. Blindness gave me opportunities. My dream of becoming captain of the Indian blind cricket team was accomplished in 2010 and was the captain when we won two World Cups. It was not easy as I was born blind and had to overcome all odds. Credit goes to my colleagues who played alongside me.”

Vikas Gowda (Discus Throw)
Not many from Karnataka have made a name for themselves in international athletics. Vikas Gowda has made India proud in discus throw and a worthy recipient of the Padma Shri. The Mysuru-born athlete, a US resident now, initially coached by his father Shive Gowda, has brought laurels for India by winning gold in Asian Athletics Championships in Wuhan (China) in 2015. He finished ninth in the World Championships in Beijing in the same year. In 2014, he had won the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. In the same year, Gowda won silver in the Asian Games in Incheon (South Korea). He is also the National record holder with a distance of 66.28 metres.

Sukri Bomma Gowda (Music)
Sukri Bomma Gowda, popularly known as Sukrajji or Sukri Ajji in the state, is a native of Badageri village near Ankola in Uttara Kannada district. The 80-year-old folk singer is known to have sung a thousand songs. Sukrajji belongs to the Halakki Vakkaliga, a tribal community. She is also a social activist and is known to have raised her voice against sale of liquor and injustice against tribal people. She even urged the government to ban liquor shops. Her fight against liquor sale started after her adopted son succumbed to  alcoholism. Among the many awards received by her are the Rajyotsava award, Adiga award and Dr Karim Khan award.

G Venkatasubbaiah (Literature& Edn)
G Venkatasubbaiah, legendary Kannada lexicographer, is considered the father of the modern Kananda dictionary. The centenarian, known as GV to Kannadigas, has enriched the Kannada language with his yeoman service. He has been awarded the top honours in Kannada literature - Kannada Sahitya Academy Award and Pampa Award.
Born in 1913, he is now 103 years old. However, his enthusiasm to publish literary works continues. His most recent work was published in 2015. The master of the word has published several dictionaries, including the ‘Kannada Nighantu Shastra Parichaya’,several works of literary criticism, history of Kannada literature, translations and children’s books.

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