Gond artist Bhajju Shyam and Lakshmikutty a Kerala tribal woman honored by Padma Shri
Thursday saw the approval of 85 Padma awards by President Ram Nath Kovind and the list of those honored includes music composer-director Ilaiyaraaja and sports icons M.S. Dhoni – Padma Vibhushan and Pankaj Advani with Padma Bhushan.
The 73 Padma Shri awards include Malaysian dancer-choreographer Ramli Bin Ibrahim, doctor couple Abhay Bang and Rani Bang and Gond artist Bhajju Shyam. Mr. Shyam is famous for depicting Europe in his Gond paintings. Murlikant Petkar, India’s first para-Olympic gold medalist, who lost his arm in the 1965 Indo-Pak war has also been honoured with a Padma Shri.
Lakshmikutty, a tribal woman from Kerala, who prepares 500 herbal medicines from memory and has helped several people bitten by snakes and insects, is among the awardees. The only tribal woman from her area to attend school way back in the 1950s, Ms. Lakshmikutty teaches at the Kerala Folklore Academy and lives in a hut in a tribal settlement in a forest. Kerala’s medical messiah for the terminally ill, M R Rajagopal, is among the awardees.