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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 27 October 2020 6.14 PM IST

Govt announces names of Padma Shri awardees on eve of Republic Day

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Ahead of the 71st Republic Day, names of 118 awardees who will be conferred with the Padma Shri Awards on Sunday have been announced.

Here are the names of a few people from the field of social work who will be honoured at Padma Awards 2020: Jagdish Lal Ahuja, Javed Ahmad Tak, Satyanayana Mundayoor, S Ramakrishna and Yogi Aeron.

Jagdish Lal Ahuja, also known as 'Langar Baba', is being awarded for "selflessly organising langars for 500 plus poor patients daily for over two decades". He also provides patients with other support from financial assistance to blankets and clothes. He is a self-made billionaire who came to India empty-handed during the partition. He sold off properties worth crores to fuel his mission and continues to serve undeterred even by stomach cancer.

Javed Ahmad Tak, from Anantnag in Kashmir, has been working with specially-abled children for two decades, to integrate them into mainstream life. He is wheelchair-ridden since 1997 due to a spinal injury from a bullet hit in a militant attack.

Another Padma awardee, Mohammed Sharif aka 'Chacha Sharif', is a "bicycle mechanic who has been performing the last rites of thousands of unclaimed dead bodies for the last 25 years". He has performed the last rites of more than 25,000 unclaimed bodies in and around Faizabad. He has never differentiated on the basis of religion, he performs last rites in accordance with the person's religious practices- cremating Hindus and burying Muslims.

Among the other 'Unsung Heroes’ who will be awarded the Padma Shri on Republic Day is Tulasi Gowda, who is known as the 'Encyclopaedia of Forest’ due to her vast knowledge of diverse species of plants and herbs- despite not having any formal education. Despite growing up in poverty amongst the backward community, she has planted and nurtured thousands of trees over the past 60 years. Even at the age of 72, she continues to nurture plants and share her knowledge with the generation, carrying forward the message of environmental protection.

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