Eight from State bag Padma awards

Karnataka Bureau

Oncologist K.S. Gopinath and scientists Vijayalakshmi Ravindranth and M.R. Satyanarayana Rao are among them

BANGALORE: Eight persons of eminence from Karnataka, including legendary Hindustani music maestro Pandit Puttaraj Gawai, theatre personality Arundhati Nag, and Balagangadharanatha Swamiji of Adichunchanagiri Math are among the 130 recipients of the Padma awards announced by the Union Government on Monday.

The other winners of Padma awards from Karnataka this year are consulting physician and cardiologist Dr. B. Ramana Rao; surgical oncologist Prof. K.S. Gopinath; and former Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University Prof. B.M. Hegde, all in discipline of Medicine; besides scientists Vijayalakshmi Ravindranth and M.R. Satyanarayana Rao, both in the field of Science and Engineering.

Pandit Puttaraj Gawai, Balagangadharanatha Swamiji and Prof. Hegde have been conferred Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order in the areas of Art, Social Work and Medicine respectively. Ms Arundhati Nag (Art), Dr. Ramana Rao, Prof. Gopinath, Ms. Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath and Prof. Satyanarayana Rao have been chosen for Padma Shri.

“Nanaga prashasti bandiddu bahala santosha ageti” (I feel very happy on being selected for the award).

“It is an award to my visually impaired students and thousands of devotees”. This is what the nonagenarian musician Pandit Puttaraj Gawai, who will be celebrating his 97th birthday on March 3, had to say after being informed that he had been chosen for the Padma Bhushan.

Because of age and ill-health, the musician can’t speak much now.

He said he would thank the Government for identifying his service and rewarding him

Ms. Arundhati Nag, who is also the creative director of theatre facility Ranga Shankara, was thrilled.

“It is fantastic. It is an award for the whole theatre community and all of Ranga Shankara”, she told The Hindu.

Ms. Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath, Professor and Chairman, Centre for Neurosciences at the Indian Institute of Science, said the Padma Shri was a recognition of her research in neuroscience.

“My research focusses on brain disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Brain disorders are an often-neglected area and I hope that in my lifetime I can make a difference to people with disorders, be it Alzheimer’s or autism.”

Mr. Satyanarayana Rao, president of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, said he was happy that his work in molecular and cell biology had been recognised.

“Over the last six years, my research has focussed on cancer genomics and on using genomic technology to understand brain tumours,” he said.

Dr. Ramana Rao said he felt like a proud Indian being honoured by Mahatma Gandhi. “I feel as though Gandhiji himself is patting my back. The honour also reminds me that I should relentlessly continue my work, especially in the rural areas. I am grateful to my patients and owe this great honour to them,” he said.

Prof. Gopinath said he was elated.

“This is the greatest honour, and I am thankful to the Government of India for recognising my work. But it has also increased my responsibility towards the field of medicine and my patients. There is so much to do in the field of cancer.”

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