The Padma Awards were announced on Wednesday, felicitating several unsung heroes who have made a mark through their contribution in various fields. Dilip Mahalanabis, who pioneered the use of Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) has been conferred with the Padma Vibhushan award. Unsung heroes Ratan Chandra Kar, Hirabai Lobi, Munishwar Chander Dawar are among the 25 personalities conferred with the Padma Shri award.
Here are some unsung heroes honoured with Padma Awards in 2023.
Dilip Mahalanabis (Padma Vibhushan): The 87-year-old paediatrician has been posthomusly honoured for pioneering the wide use of Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), a solution which has led to 93 per cent reduction in deaths caused by diarrhoea, cholera and dehydration, especially among infants.
Ratan Chandra Kar (Padma Shri): A retired government doctor from Andamans, Kar has been working with the Jarawa tribe who lives in the island. He treated the members of the community during the measles epidemic of 1999 and brought them back from the verge of extinction.
Hirabai Lobi (Padma Shri): A tribal social worker, Lobi has been working for the betterment of the Siddi community in Gujarat. She has been providing education to the children of the community and has relentlessly promoted financial independence among the women.
Munishwar Chander Dawar (Padma Shri): The 1971 Indo-Pak war veteran doctor has been treating underprivileged people for the past five decades. Dawar has been treating the poor and weaker sections of the society at a nominal cost of ₹20, up from a meagre ₹2 in 2010s.
Ramkuiwangbe Newme (Padma Shri): The Naga social worker has dedicated his entire life for the conservation and preservation of Heraka religion. The 75-year-old activist is known for setting up awareness camps to protect and promote the indigenous culture.
VP Appukuttan Poduval (Padma Shri): The Gandhian and freedom fighter actively participated in the 1942 Quit India Movement. He has been honoured for his selfless work to uplift the lives of weaker sections of the society for the past eight decades.
Sankurathri Chandra Sekhar (Padma Shri): The Kakinada-based social worker dedicated his life to provide free medical and education services to the needy. After losing his wife and two children in the Air India Kanishka bombing, he chose to channelise his grief into a lifelong commitment towards the betterment of the society.
Vadivel Gopal and Masi Sadaiyan (Padma Shri): The snake catchers from Irula tribe have specialised in catching the venomous and most dangerous snakes. They belong to the tribe which has played an important role in healthcare sector through antivenoms collected by them.
Tula Ram Upreti (Padma Shri): The 98-year-old organic farmer from Sikkim has been training and inspiring other farmers to adopt natural farming techniques. He has been engaged in organic farming since childhood, six decades before the Sikkim government formed the Sikkim Organic Mission.
KC Runremsangi (Padma Shri): The Mizo folk singer from Aizawl has been honoured for safeguarding the Mizo cultural heritage for close to three decades. She is credited with recording several Mizo folk songs, and was conferred with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2017.