Ten from T.N. chosen for Padma Shri

Ten personalities from various fields from Tamil Nadu were among the 102 persons chosen for Padma Shri awards announced on Monday.

Legendary playback singer and musician S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, who died in September 2020, was chosen for Padma Vibhushan along with six others. No one from the State was among the 10 persons chosen for Padma Bhushan awards.

The following is the list of Padma Shri awardees and the field in which they have been chosen: P. Subramanian (posthumous), trade and industry; Thiruvengadam Veeraraghavan (posthumous), medicine; K.C. Sivasankaran (posthumous), art; Pappammal, agriculture; Subbu Arumugam, art; Solomon Pappaiah, literature and education-journalism; Marachi Subburaman, social work; Bombay Jayashri Ramnath, art; Sridhar Vembu, trade and industry, and P. Anitha, sports.

‘Gear man’

P. Subramanian, known as the “gear man of Coimbatore”, who passed away in December 2020, started Shanthi Gears in the 1970s and made gears for a wide range of industries and even designed and developed machinery to make the gears. Apart from that, he is known for his philanthropy. “He was not a person who liked recognition. The social work that he started continues even today,” said his daughter Sangeetha.

Two-rupee doctor

Dr. Thiruvengadam Veeraraghavan, popularly known as “the two rupee doctor”, who died in August 2020 at the age of 70, catered to patients from north Chennai. Born to Veeraraghavan, a farmer, and Radhabai, he did his schooling in Thyagaraya School and medicine from the Government Stanley Medical College. Hailing from a humble background, he was committed to helping the poor and downtrodden.

105-year-old Pappamal, who still works hard in her field at Thekkampatti in Coimbatore district despite her age, was born in 1914. She was brought up by her paternal grandmother after she lost her parents at a young age.

She does organic farming in about 2.5 acres. She was a special invitee at the debates organised by the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University and was also elected as councillor of Thekkampatti panchayat in 1959.

Villupattu exponent Subbu Arumugam, whose popular and energetic opening line ‘Thandhanathom endru solliye’ is remembered by his fans, is a native of Tirunelveli district. In a message conveyed through his daughter Bharathi Thirumagan, who performs on stage with him, he said, “It is all with the blessings of Maha Periyava that this has been possible.”

Solomon Pappaiah, 84, renowned judge of ‘pattimandram’ (debates) and a Tamil scholar, expressed joy on the announcement. A native of Madurai, he studied in American College and later worked in the same institution as a professor in the Department of Tamil. A recipient of Kalaimamani award from the Tamil Nadu government in 2000, he has also acted in a couple of Tamil movies.

Empowering women

Marachi Subburaman, 71, is the director of the Tiruchi-based non-governmental organisation, Society for Community Organisation and People’s Education (SCOPE). Through the organisation, he has taken up projects on women empowerment and livelihood, watershed development and ecological sanitation, specialising in ‘urine diversion’ toilets and human waste composting. He has been involved in the construction of a large number of leach pit toilets in Tiruchi and other districts.

While she said she felt ecstatic, 58-year-old Bombay Jayashri Ramnath sounded calm and composed while expressing her happiness on being chosen for the award. “Be it good or bad, I always turn to music to find strength. Every time I tune my tambura, I completely forget everything. This is a moment of absolute joy and pride for me. I’m deeply thankful to my gurus, my mother, my husband, my brother and my son,” she said.

Sridhar Vembu, the founder and CEO of privately-held Zoho, a maker of cloud-based business software, was born in 1967 in Thanjavur district. After graduating from IIT-Madras, he went on to obtain M.S. and Ph.D from Princeton University.

Mr. Vembu expressed his passion towards “rural revival”. Zoho’s first rural office is located in Tenkasi.

He currently resides there and focuses on setting up schools for children in rural areas.

Indian hoopster Anitha represented the Indian basketball women’s team for 18 years, played nine Asian championships and captained the senior team on seven occasions.

Vidaa muyarchi (perseverance) and family support were the main reasons I got the award,” the 35-year-old said.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 6:36:43 AM |

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