Thursday, 26 January , 2006, 00:57
New Delhi: Veteran Malayalam film maker and Dada Saheb Phalke award winner Adoor Gopalakrishnan, teenage tennis sensation Sania Mirza, Infosys number two Nandan Nilekani, Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande and eminent cardiologist Uprendra Kaul were among 106 personalities from various fields chosen for prestigious Padma awards this year.
Renowned author and crusader for tribals rights Mahasveta Devi, eminent Mexican scientist Norman Borlaug, eminent playback singer Pankaj Udhas, aviator Vijaypat Sighania, leading banker Deepak Parekh of HDFC and industrialist Tarun Das of FICCI, Tata Consultancy Services chief Ramadorai and filmmaker Sai Paranjape, litterateur Ajeet Caur, veteran actor A K Hangal also figure in the list of distinguished persons selected for the honours.
Sania, shuttler Madhumita Bisht, former national champion, and shotputter Bahadur Singh are three sportspersons in the list of Padma Shri winners.
Besides Borlaug, who has been honoured with Padma Bhushan, there are four other foreigners – Czech scholar Dusan Zbaveitel, Russian educationist Gregory Maximovich Bongard-Levin (both Padma Bhusan) and Qatari minister Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah bin al-Mahmood and well-known German educationist Lothar Lutze who were chosen for Padma Shri.
The world of art and literature recorded a strong presence in this year’s list with 34 people getting the different categories of Padma awards.
While Adoor and Mahasveta Devi are recipients of Padma Vibhushan, filmmaker Sai Paranjape and Telugu actor K Chiranjeevi have been chosen for Padma Bhusan titles. Singer Pankaj Udhas was selected for Padma Shri.
Mary Kom, the world champion for two consecutive years in 48 kg category, has been India’s great hopes in the boxing rings. Punjab shot putter Bahadur Singh did India proud by striking gold in 2002 Busan Asian Games. He also won gold for India in the 2002 Asian Grand Prix in Hyderabad.
Eight-time national champion woman shuttler Madhumita Bisht, world record holder balloon aviator and industrialist Vijaypat Singhania (the only sportsperson to get Padma Bhushan) and top adventure sportsperson from Arunachal Pradesh Mohan Singh Gunjyal were the others from the field of sports to get the top civilian honour.