Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that the Delhi government will only nominate doctors and healthcare workers for this year’s Padma awards.
He said the nominations will be on the basis of citizens’ suggestions, which the government will seek till Independence Day.
The decision has been taken to honour the service and sacrifice of the medical community during the COVID-crisis, said Mr. Kejriwal during a digital briefing. He further thanked the doctors and healthcare workers for “relentlessly” doing everything possible to save lives during successive waves of the pandemic.
“Now is the time to tell our doctors and healthcare workers how grateful we are and how much we respect them. Every year, the country honours a select few with the Bharat Ratna and the Padma awards. The Centre gives these awards to people who have done excellent work in their field,” he said. For all three Padma awards: Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan, Mr. Kejriwal said the Centre asks for nominations of people who they think deserve the honour.
During the pandemic, doctors, healthcare workers, and para-medical staff helped save many lives, said Mr. Kejriwal. He added that he knew many doctors and healthcare workers who did not go home for days as well as those who got infected while tending to patients and were unfortunately martyred on duty.
He said the government wanted the people of Delhi to come forward with names of doctors and healthcare workers along with a description of why they deserved the honour. Names can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .
“A ‘Search and Screening Committee’ has been set up under Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. It will decide the names for recommendations. The last date for sending names to the Centre is September 15,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
‘No relief for families’
Meanwhile, the BJP asked the Delhi government why it was making families of over 150 front-line workers who lost their lives in the line of duty wait for the ₹1 crore compensation as had been announced. Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana said the Delhi government had only compensated 17 families of front-line workers.