NEW DELHI: The Padma awards 2019, announced on eve of the Republic Day, will honour 112 inspiring personalities that include 12 farmers, 14 doctors and nine sportspersons, officials said.
The awardees are from across the nation, all segments of society and the government has gone beyond excellence alone, recognising the larger impact and their selfless services.
The list of four Padma Vibhushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri awardees was prepared from a record 50,000 nominations, which was a 20 times increase since 2014 when the government had received just 2,200 nominations, a Home Ministry official said.
As many as 12 farmers were selected from nine states for the Padma awards, including Kanwal Singh Chauhan for babycorn and mushroom, Vallabhbhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya for carrot and Jagdish Prasad Parikh for cauliflower.
Progressive farmers who have been adopting technology and scientific methods in cultivation are Bharat Bhushan Tyagi, Ram Sharan Verma, Venkateswara Rao Yadlapalli.
Traditional farmers who excelled by conserving old, traditional seeds and promoting organic farming are Kamala Pujhari, Rajkumari Devi, Babulal Dahiya and Hukumchand Patidar.
In the animal husbandry sector, the awardees are Sultan Singh for fisheries and Narendra Singh for dairy-breeding.
The 14 doctors to be honoured were from 11 states, serving the poor and fighting diseases affecting the common man.
They are: Omesh Kumar Bharti (rabies), Sudam Kate (sickle cell), Ramaswami Venkataswami (reconstruction surgery of burns), Pratap Singh Hardia (cataract and myopia).
Serving the poor with quality healthcare at minimal, and often zero cost are doctors Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (Jharkhand), Smita and Ravindra Kolhe (Melghat, Maharashtra), R V Ramani (Tamil Nadu).
Serving in the remotest areas of India are doctors Tsering Norboo (Ladakh), Illias Ali (Assam), Ashok Laxmanrao Kukade (Latur, Maharashtra).
Best doctors from India's premier medical institutions who will be honoured with the Padma awards are: Jagat Ram (Director of PGIMER, Chandigarh), Shadab Mohammad (King George Medical University, Lucknow), Sandeep Guleria (Indraprastha Apollo hospital and AIIMS, Delhi), Mammen Chandy (Director at Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata).
Nine leading sportspersons from nine disciplines are Bombayla Devi Laishram (archery), Prashanti Singh (basketball), Harika Dronavalli (chess), Gautam Gambhir (cricket), Sunil Chhetri (football), Ajay Thakur (kabaddi), Bachendri Pal (mountaineering), Sharath Kamal (table tennis) and Bajrang Punia (wrestling).
This year's Padma awardees also include socialist leader Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, tribal leader Kariya Munda, Sikh leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, grassroots Mahadalit woman leader Bhagirathi Devi and Sikh lawyer fighting for justice for 1984 riot victims Harvinder Singh Phoolka.
India's friends abroad who are going to be honoured are President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh, who had played instrumental role in enabling the rescue of thousands of Indian citizens from war-torn Yemen and anti-apartheid leader and current minister of South Africa Pravin Gordhan.
Another official said the Narendra Modi government had transformed the Padma awards' tag of "government awards" to "people's awards".
All of the awardees were evaluated on merit through robust and rigorous ecosystem from nomination to selection, the official said.
Each nominee is profiled-based on a scientific evaluation framework and each profile goes through rounds of quality check, scrutiny and expert consultation.
"This is reflected in the awardees selected. An inspiration to all - the stories of their struggles, dedication, perseverance, selflessness and service script the story of New India," the official said.