KOCHI: From advertisement guru to yoga and spiritual gurus and from the usual mix of film stars to industrialists and academicians, including a posthumous one to Dhirubhai Ambani, this year’s list comprises 112 achievers, 19 of whom are women. Top architect Hafeez Contractor, ex-US Ambassador Robert Blackwill, dancer Yamini Krishnamurthi, vocalist Girija Devi and media baron Ramoji Rao are among the awardees
kerala and Tamil Nadu
P Gopinathan Nair
Category: Social Work
The Padma Shri has come in search of P Gopinathan Nair rather late in life, but the Gandhian expressed happiness, adding that it would make his work among the people easier. ‘’I work among people. The award will make my work all the more easier. People regard such accolades highly,’’ said the 94-year-old, who chairs the All-India Gandhi Smarak Nidhi and the Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi. ‘’I know that the government had recommended my name twice or thrice before. But only now has it happened,’’ he said.
Dr Sundar Menon
Category: Social Work
Thrissur-based Dr Sundar Menon, chairman of The Sun Group International, was awarded 2016 Padma Shri award in the field of social work. He runs the Sun Charitable Trust to help the poor and the disabled. He has donated life saving equipments such as ventilators and dialysis units to government medical colleges and other charitable Institutions for supporting the poor patients. He is also a patron of the Pain and Palliative Care Society, Autism Society, Alpha Pain Clinic, All India Handicapped Association and Renal and Kidney Welfare Foundation. He was conferred an honorary doctorate by European Continental Community University (EUC- USA) in 2015 and was also awarded at the “Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2015.
Category: Social work
Sunitha Krishnan, who was accorded the Padma Shri for social work, told ‘Express’ that she was honoured and humbled and at the same time was aware that it entrusted additional responsibility to work vigorously in the fields she was active in. Sunitha said that the Padma award gives a lot of energy and motivation to work more for the rehabilitation of sex workers and in the field of anti-human trafficking in which she was involved.
Category: Art – Cinema
After winning over millions in India and abroad both with his silverscreen performance and his humility off it, Rajinikanth, among the biggest stars that there are in Indian cinema, has now won Padma Vibhushan. His ardent fans might want to say that it was the award that was honoured by being associated with their hero. “Feeling deeply honoured for being awarded the Padma Vibhushan. My heartfelt thanks to my dear fans, well wishers and friends for all the wishes,” Rajini reacted on twitter after the news about the award came out.
Dr Viswanathan Shanta
Category: Medicine – Oncology
Even as she expressed happiness over the Padma Vibhushan honour, which she insisted was a recognition for work done by the institution, it is evident that Dr V Shanta, the leading oncologist in the country, is not elated. Though selected for the Padma trio and Magsaysay Award among countless others, she can’t help but worry about her patients who make a beeline to her institute. “Despite of all the efforts we have taken in our fight against cancer, over half of the patients who come to the [Adyar Cancer] Institute come there too late,” she told Express.
Srinivasan Damal Kandalai
Category: Social work
It was 34 years ago that Srinivasan, an MBA graduate who once ran businesses dealing with petroleum and FMCG products, joined hands with a doctor friend to set up medical facilities for the poor. Though it functioned from a small shed, it still was a progress from the ‘10 paise hospital’ that he ran with his doctor friends who sat under a tree on Sundays to treat poor. This went on to become a multi-disciplinary, super-specialty facility in Tambaram, Hindu Mission Hospital. Srinivas is also involved in the operation of organisations, including Valluvar Gurukulam.
Cherukuri Ramoji Rao is an Indian businessman, film producer, and media entrepreneur. Born on November 16, 1936, he is the head of the Ramoji Group, which owns, among other things, the world’s largest film production facility - Ramoji Film City - and film production company Ushakiran Movies. He is also the founder of the iconic newspaper Eenadu in Andhra Pradesh. Rao was born into an agricultural family in Pedaparupudi, Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh
Shri Shri Ravi Shankar
Category: Others –
Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian, spiritual leader and an ambassador of peace. He is the founder of the Art of Living Foundation. He has received numerous honours, including the highest civilian awards of Colombia, Mongolia and Paraguay. He has also been conferred with 15 honorary doctorates from around the world. Born on May 13, 1956, in Tamil Nadu, he also established a Geneva-based charity, the International Association for Human Values.
Dr HR Nagendra
Dr H R Nagendra holds PhD in Mechanical Engineering from IISc, Bangalore, and is the president of VYASA. He is now the Chancellor of S-VYASA Deemed University. He has published 30 Research Papers in Engineering; authored and collected 110 papers on Yoga and co-authored 35 books on Yoga. After receiving his doctorate in 1968, he served as faculty of IISc in Department of Mechanical Engineering. He then served as Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the University of British Columbia, Canada in 1969.
Category: Art – Classical dance
The inimitable Yamini Krishnamurthy has been for decades a symbol of the sheer power and radiance of Indian classical dance. Her charisma ensured her the respect and adulation of people from all walks of life ever since her debut performance in Chennai in 1957. She has already bagged several awards, including Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan. She also has the honour of being the Asthana Nartaki (resident dancer) of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam.
MN Krishnamani had his education in Law College, Madras. He was enrolled as a lawyer in 1971, in Madras. He worked as a junior of Late MK Nambiyar and KK Venugopal from 1971–1977. In 1977, Krishnamani set up his practice as an independent lawyer. He started his practice in the Madras High Court and was prominent as a young lawyer from 1971–1981 in Madras. He specialised in Writ Jurisdiction and was known as “Writ a day lawyer” since he was appearing in at least one writ petition a day
Hui Lan Zhang
Yoga started to take off in China in 1985 through a daytime television show on the state network CCTV starring Zhang Hui Lan, also known as Wai Lana, who is called the mother of yoga in China. Zhang, wearing garlands of flowers and Hawaiian outfits, guided Chinese housewives through gentle yoga postures. Though the program went off the air in 1999, Wai Lana’s involvement in yoga continues from her base in Hawaii and via an online shop selling her CDs and DVDs and promoting her U.S. TV appearances
Ujjwal Nikam was appointed as special public prosecutor in the 1993 Mumbai bomb-blast case in 1994. In his 30-year legal career, Nikam has handled numerous cases, and served as public prosecutor for important trials at state as well as national level. He has secured 628 life imprisonments and 37 death penalties. He has been provided with Z-plus security by government of India due to his involvement in high-profile trials, including the 2013 Mumbai gang rape, Gulshan Kumar murder, Pramod Mahajan Murder trial, Gateway of India Blast case 2003 and Ajmal Kasab trial case.
Advertising & Communication
Piyush Pandey is an award-winning co-executive chairman and national creative director of Ogilvy & Mather India and vice-chairman of O&M Asia-Pacific. Pandey also played for the Ranji Trophy. During his tenure O&M became the third-largest advertising agency in India. Notable ad campaigns in India designed by Pandey include: BJP’s general election, 2014, Fevicol, Fevikwik Cadbury Dairy Milk , Vodafone, Asian Paints and campaigns for tourism
Science & Engineering
Mylswamy Annadurai is a scientist with the Indian Space Research Organization and currently serves as Director, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore. Prior to that he was working as Programme Director for Indian Remote Sensing & Small, Science and Student Satellites that include Chandrayaan-1, Chandrayaan-2, ASTROSAT, Aditya-1, Mars Orbiter Mission and many Indian Remote Sensing missions. His works find a mention in the Class 10 Science Text Book of Tamil Nadu. Annadurai has been listed among 100 Global thinkers of 2014 and tops the Innovators list
Category: Sports – Tennis
Sania has won 9 women’s doubles titles in 2015, including 2 Grand Slams, with Swiss great Martina Hingis. Became World No 1 in doubles rankings. “It’s truly a humbling experience to be honoured with the Padma Bhushan award. It will inspire me to earn more laurels for my country,” said Sania from Melbourne, where she is taking part in the Australian Open and cleared preliminary hurdles in doubles as well as mixed doubles. As accolades started pouring in, Sania’s father said they would like her to focus on the job at hand. “We would not like to disturb her much,” said Imran Mirza.
Padma shri (posthumous)
Saeed Jaffrey (late)
Art & Cinema
Saeed Jaffrey was an Indian-born British actor whose versatility and fluency in multiple languages allowed him to straddle radio, stage, television and film in a career that spanned over six decades and more than a hundred and fifty British, American and Indian movies. His resonant voice made him the natural choice as narrator for audio books. His narration of the Kama Sutra titled The Art of Love (1996) was listed by Time magazine as “one of the five best spoken word records ever made. During the 1980s and 1990s he was considered to be Britain’s highest-profile Asian actor
Ajaypal Singh Banga
Trade & Industry
Ajaypal Singh Banga is the current president and CEO of MasterCard. On February 5, 2015, US President Barack Obama appointed Banga to serve as a Member of the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Presently, he is also the chairman of the US-India Business Council representing more than 300 of the largest international companies investing in India. He is also a member of board of directors of the Dow Chemical Company
Category: Sports – Badminton
Her achievements include Silver at All England, World Championship; Gold at India Open Super Series, Syed Modi Grand Prix. Became World No 1. The 25-year-old, upset last year when she was overlooked for this award, said she was surprised to see her name in the list. “It’s a huge honour. I dedicate this to (coach) Vimal (Kumar) sir for his hard work in the last two years. He made me believe I can compete with the best in the world again. He changed and revived my career,” said Saina. The former World No 1 said it was a dream come true.
Category: Art – Cinema
It has been a whirlwind year for ‘desi girl’ Priyanka Chopra, who started off the year on a high with the People’s Choice award for her role in American TV Show Quantico, becoming the first South Asian actress to win the honour. A Bollywood actress and former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra is making India proud on international shores. Priyanka is also a singer, who launched her first international single In My City in 2012. She went on to collaborate with American rapper Pitbull for Exotic in 2013.
Category: Art – Cinema
Anupam Kher has appeared in several hundred films and plays. He has also appeared in acclaimed international films such as the 2002 Golden Globe nominated Bend It Like Beckham, Ang Lee’s 2007 Golden Lion winning Lust, Caution, and David O Russell’s 2013 Oscar winning Silver Linings Playbook. Kher has held the post of chairman of Central Board of Film Certification and National School of Drama. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004. He has also won the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role five times.