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The jewels from Karnataka

DNBAN36912 | 1/26/2011 | Author : Team DNA | WC :1018

When Padma awards were instituted in 1954, three men from the state made it to the list: Bharat Ratna CV Raman and V Narahari Rao, the first CAG of independent India, and Gen KS Thimayya, both Padma Bhushan. This year, 11 men and women from the state have won the Padma awards

Padma Vibhushan: Azim Premji (Trade & industry). Padma Bhushan: RK Srikantan (Music), Kris Gopalakrishnan (Trade & industry), Dr Ramdas M Pai (Literature & education), TJS George (Literature & education), Padma Shri: Devanur Mahadeva (Literature & education), Girish Kasaravalli (Cinema), Anita Reddy (Social work), Nomita Chandy (Social work), Anant Darshan Shankar (Public affairs), M Annamalai (Science and engineering)

Padam Vibhushan Award

Azim Premji
Chairman, Wipro Technologies
Born in 1945, Padma Vibhushan awardee Azim Premji was the richest man in India for several years. He is chairman of Wipro Technologies. Times magazine rated him among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2004. Under his leadership, software giant Wipro became the largest independent research and development service providers in the world. Premji had been honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2005.

Padma Bhushan Award

S Gopalakrishnan
Founder and CEO,
Infosys Technologies
Founding member and current chief executive officer of Infosys, has been conferred with a Padma Bhushan. “I am thankful to the government for this recognition. I am also thankful to the leadership and my colleagues at Infosys, without whose support I would not have got this award,” said Gopalakrishnan. Hailing from a simple background, Kris, as he is fondly called, is recognised as a global thought leader and was elected in Thinkers 50, a biennial ranking of business gurus. Gopalakrishnan is the chairman of the CII Southern Regional Council and is also on the board of governors at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

RK Srikantan
Carnatic musician
Carnatic musician RK Srikantan, who has been selected to receive Padma Bhushan, reacted to the news with surprise. “I had not expected this. I would consider this a blessing from God. This is a prestigious award as it is given by the central government. It enhances my enthusiasm, responsibility, strength to continue performing and teaching,” said the 91-year-old vocalist who continues perform at concerts and nurtures young talent. Born in Rudrapattana in Hassan taluk to a family of musicians and scholars, Srikantan has been singing Carnatic music for over 70 years. He has worked with Akashvani and has performed with all top-notch Carnatic musicians.

Dr Ramdas M Pai
President and chancellor, Manipal University
After being named as a Padma Bhushan awardee, president and chancellor of Manipal University, Dr Ramdas M Pai, shared the honour with his team.  “I thank the government of India for recognising the good work in the field of health and education done by the Manipal group. I may be the leader of the group, but the honour is shared by every member of my team and their families,” said Pai. Pai, son of Dr TMA Pai, visionary and founder of Manipal University, took over reigns as president and chancellor of the university. He is also the president of its medical group. His biggest achievement has been getting the deemed university status for Manipal.

TJS George
Journalist and columnist
Veteran journalist and columnist TJS George, an alumnus of Madras Christian College, has worked in Free Press Journal, International Press Institute, The Searchlight, and the Far Eastern Economic Review and Asiaweek (Hong Kong).

Padma Shri Award

Anant Darshan Shankar
Chairman, Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine at Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, Bangalore
Anant Darshan Shankar, the chairman of Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine at Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, Bangalore, who has been named for the Padma Shri awards, expressed his happiness. “It is good that people working in the field of traditional knowledge are being recognised. Shankar has held several responsible and prestigious positions in traditional health sciences and sustainable harvest of medicinal plants,” he said.

Girish Kasaravalli Kannada film director
Girish Kasaravalli, the true inheritor of the new wave Kannada cinema movement pioneered by the likes of Pattabhirama Reddy, BV Karanth and Girish Karnad, has delivered an ace with every cinema he made in the past four decades. His Ghatashraddha, Tabarana Kathe, Thaayi Saheba, Dweepa, Haseena, Bannada Vesha, Gulabi Talkies and Kanasemba Kudureyanneri have fetched eight national awards; the first four have, in fact, won Golden Lotuses. Reacting to the Padma Shri award, Kasaravalli told DNA: “I am very happy, but I am missing my wife, Vaishali, who passed away recently. She was very eager on me getting a Padma honour.”

Anita Reddy, Social worker
Anita Reddy, the Padma Shri awardee for social work, termed the fete as ‘the victory of the people who have established their rights’. “I hope with the award, roads will come quicker to the villages, solutions to the disadvantaged arrive easier. It should become a plus for the people,” she said. Reddy has been working for over 33 years in the area of housing, education, livelihoods for the poor, rights of people living in slums. She works in villages within a six-hour travelling distance from the city including in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. She is part of the organisations Association for Voluntary Action and Services and Dwarkanath Reddy Ramanarpanam Trust.

Devanur Mahadeva Litterateur
Litterateur Devanur Mahadeva, 62, was once regarded as the conscience of Dalit movement in Karnataka. A youthful Mahadeva was given the honour of chairing a public meeting addressed by Jayaprakash Narayan in Mysore at the height of
anti-Indira Gandhi agitation in mid-1970s. His Odalala was regarded as a trendsetter in Dalit literature, while Kusumabale sought to redefine aesthetic sensibilities. An outsider in all senses, Mahadeva has shunned all honour and recognition. True to his self, he was unavailable for comment when DNA sought to seek his reaction to the Padma Shri honour
bestowed on him.

Nomita Chandy, Social worker
Nomita Chandy, who has been awarded the Padma Shri, for social work, is the secretary of Ashraya, which provides shelter and rehabilitation to women and children. Chandy is one of the founding members of Ashraya, an NGO that works with children. She has been working with children since mid-1980s.

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