Tamil Nadu

Padma Awards 2020: Grateful for honour, say awardees from Tamil Nadu, Puducherry

Social work, artistic and literary excellence recognised

Social worker Krishnammal Jagannathan, industrialist Venu Srinivasan and littérateur Manoj Das have been chosen for the Padma Bhushan awards from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Carnatic vocalists C. Lalitha and C. Saroja, artist Manohar Devadoss, social worker S. Ramakrishnan, nagaswaram vidwans Kalee Shabi Mahaboob and Sheik Mahaboob Subani and IIT-Madras professor Pradeep Thalappil from Tamil Nadu, and artist V.K. Munusamy from Puducherry are the recipients of the Padma Shri awards.

Krishnammal Jagannathan, 94, heads the Land for Tillers' Freedom (LAFTI), an NGO working for the upliftment of women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and their families, particularly in the Thanjavur region. Her daughter Sathya said Ms. Jagannathan had worked extensively in areas like Kilvenmani following the massacre in 1968, when 44 people belonging to the SC community were burnt by henchmen from an intermediate caste.

“She has helped over 14,000 landless labourers become landowners and is currently helping the victims of Cyclone Gaja secure land that they had lost,” she said.

Venu Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director of TVS Motor Company India, thanked the government and said, “It's a great honour and I am humbled to be recognised. This is a recognition for thousands of workers and colleagues who have worked with me – their efforts have been recognised.”

One of the leading bilingual literary figures in Odia and English, Manoj Das has an active presence in the literary and cultural scene of Puducherry. Since 1963, he has been a resident of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where he teaches literature and Aurobindo's philosophy at Sri Aurobindo International University. “I always feel grateful in my heart for the response I get for my writings," he said.

Carnatic vocalists C. Saroja and C. Lalitha, known as the Bombay Sisters, came to Chennai when they were just out of their teenage years. “We came to Chennai on a Government of India scholarship and joined the Central College of Music, where Shri. Govinda Rao was teaching. We learnt under him for 50 years,” said Ms. Saroja.

It was while working on a book on Madras that Manohar Devadoss, the artist who has sketched Madurai's temples and streets in great detail, received the news that he had been selected for the Padma Shri. After a retired IAS officer, Jayanthi, gifted his drawing of Meenakshi Kalyanam to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said Mr. Modi wrote to him, appreciating his art. Mr. Devadoss, whose vision has deteriorated over the years, cannot see now.

Disability no bar

S. Ramakrishnan, founder-president of Amar Seva Sangam (ASS) in Tirunelveli, has been working towards the rehabilitation of the differently-abled in over 300 villages. Paralysed neck-down, he works on empowering those with disabilities in rural areas.

The Nagaswaram vidwans, Sheik Mahaboob Subhani and his wife Kaleeshabi Mahaboob, hail from Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh and have settled in Srirangam. “We hail from a long line of musicians, who played the Chilakluripet Paani. We are the 8th generation, and our son Sheik Ferose Babu is the ninth in that line. We consider this award a recognition for our lineage,” said Mr. Mahaboob Subhani.

Pradeep Thalappil, professor, Chemistry department, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, said he and his team had developed affordable and safe drinking water solutions using nano materials, which had already benefitted about 9 million people. V.K. Munusamy, who was chosen for the Padma Shri, has taken the art of terracotta sculpture far and wide. He learnt the skill of terracotta sculpting from his parents and has dedicated himself to this craft for over four decades. He has sculpted a wide array of unconventional objects alongside traditional sculptures.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 11:18:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/grateful-for-honour-say-padma-awardees-from-tn-puducherry/article30655332.ece

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