Padma Shri winners include Karate Kid from Kashmir, Haryana doctor behind world’s 1st IVF buffalo: The Tribune India


New Delhi, January 26

This year’s list of Padma Shri winners includes many “unsung heroes” who have contributed to society in their own way.

Narendra Modi government posthumously awarded Gosaveedu Shaik Hassan of Andhra Pradesh, Nadaswaram player and freedom fighter.

For seven decades Hassan played the wind instrument every day as ‘Suprabhatham’ for Lord Rama. A representative of the classical instrument, he served and dedicated his life at the historic temple of Sri Seetha Ramachandra Swami at Bhadrachalam.

Seth Pal Singh from Uttar Pradesh contributed to agriculture by specializing in modifying the geometry and rotation of Singhara crops. He developed an innovative technique of growing the crop through scaffolding, relay cropping and intercropping method and inspired farmers to grow fruits and vegetables alongside traditional crops.

Himmatrao Bawaskar from Maharashtra is a general practitioner in Mahad widely known for his treatment of scorpion stings and snakebites.

Coming from a modest background, he started treating the poor in rural areas despite the lack of resources and discovered that by using Prazosin for treatment, the mortality rate dropped from 40% to less than 1%.

Gurmeet Bawa, who was awarded posthumously, is an internationally renowned Punjabi folk singer. She was the first Punjabi folk singer to sing on Doordarshan and popularized the genre and its instruments. She has performed in over 25 countries.

HR Keshavamurthy from Karnataka is a renowned Gamaka singer from Shivamogga, who has introduced over 100 classic ragas in his own style of Gamaka singing.

He has dedicated six decades of his life to preserving and promoting “Kavya Vachana”, a rare form of Kannada storytelling and rich and popularized Kannada cultural epics, “Kumaravyasas Bharatha” and “Jaiminis Bharatha” among the masses.

His efforts also provided a platform for upcoming Gamaka artists.

Faisal Ali Dar from Jammu and Kashmir is known as the “Karate Kid” of Kashmir. A martial arts trainer from Bandipore, he created a sports academy and trained 4,000 students. It aims to give young people from sensitive regions affected by activism opportunities and dreams.

His achievement is reflected in the medals won by his students at the World Kickboxing Championships.

Gamit Ramilaben Raysingbhai, from Gujarat, is a tribal social worker from Tapi. Coming from a modest background, she worked at the grassroots level and her dedicated efforts led to the transformation of nine villages into open defecation free villages.

She has established more than 300 health units and organized awareness events on open defecation, sickle cell anemia, and led “self-help groups in the areas of education, health and sanitation in tribal communities”.

Girdhari Ram Ghonju of Jharkhand, who was honored posthumously, is a Nagpuri litterature and educationist from Ranchi. He has worked for the upliftment of regional language and culture in Jharkhand and authored more than 25 books and plays especially on safeguarding local heritage and cultural identity of Nagpuria for more than five decades.

Narasingha Prasad Guru from Odisha is a Koshali author, lyricist and lexicographer from Balangir who has championed the Koshali language for decades.

He has written more than 10 books in Koshali and composed about 500 lyrical performances which have been broadcast by AIR. A teacher and writer in Odia and Koshali-Sambhalpuri, he promoted Koshali and also wrote a dictionary about it.

Moti Lal Madan from Haryana, who created the world’s first IVF buffalo calf, was also honoured. The 82-year-old prominent veterinarian and biotechnologist from Karnal led the team that carried out the world’s first successful in vitro fertilization of a buffalo, leading to the birth of Pratham.

He was director of the National Dairy Research Institute in Karnal and pioneered research in reproductive endocrinology, embryo biotechnology, IVF and cloning.

R Muthukannammal from Tamil Nadu is a Sadir dancer from Viralimalai, a precursor to Bharatanatyam. She has performed in over 1,000 dance and singing performances in over 70 years and continues to train young artists. She is the last surviving “Devadasi” of her cohort.

To popularize her contribution to Sadir, veteran sculptor G Chandrasekaran made a statue of her in his art school. She is known as the “seventh generation Sadir dancer and guardian of the primitive tradition of Bharatanatyam”.

Prem Singh, an eminent social worker from Mohali, has dedicated over three decades of his life to serving over 1,000 leprosy patients in Punjab. Faced with financial difficulties, he sold his personal possessions and took out loans for their welfare and rehabilitation.

Radheyshyam Khemka of Uttar Pradesh, who was honored posthumously, is a legendary publisher who brought ancient literary works of Gita, Mahabharat and Ramyana to the people.

He was the chairman of Geeta Press, the largest publisher of spiritual literature and editor of Kalyan magazine since its inception. He published translations of Puranas and brought Indian history, culture, spirituality and values ​​to the masses.

Ram Sahay Panday from Madhya Pradesh, a veteran folk artist from Bundelkhand for 60 years, popularized the dance by mixing it with tunes from Mridangam.

He founded the Ram Sahay Panday dance group to promote and preserve the art of the extinct Bediya tribe and has given over 100 performances in 18 countries and continues to promote the art form even at the age of 90.

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