Once again this year’s Padma awards nominee list includes many known personalities for their outstanding work in their respective fields like Virat Kohli (Cricket), Sanjeev Kapoor (Culinary), Anuradha Podwal (Music), etc. However, the list has not failed to mention people who may seem ‘common’, but are outstanding nonetheless. The list of Padma Shri nominees 2017 has proved that the selfless and successful acts do not go unnoticed.
Here is the list of a few of the unsung heros:
1. Bhakti Yadav:
The first woman from Indore to get an MBBS degree, now 91-years old, has helped deliver over 1000 babies in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. She has been in the medical field for more than 60 years now. The fact that she has been treating patients for free ever since, is commendable. Having refused a job in a government hospital she decided to serve the ladies of poor ability in a maternity homes, long back.
2. Shekhar Naik:
He has led the Indian cricket team (for the blind) and made it possible for them to win the T-20 World Cup in 2012 and 2014 ODI World Cup. While he lost his parents at the age of 12 and faced enormous hardships, he emerged victorious, quite literally.
3. Mariyappan Thangavelu:
His father abandoned the family when he was just a child and thus he was raised by a single mother, who worked as a laborer. Thangavelu was run over by a bus at a young age leading to permanent disability in his right leg. However, none of this stopped him from bringing laurels to the country by winning a gold medal in the Rio Games in 2016.
4. Karimul Haque:
After his mother met with an accident, he lost her due to lack of emergency vehicles. Following this, he converted his bike into a 24×7 ambulance and has been saving lives of people ever since. He is lovingly called as ‘Ambulance Dada’ in the state of West Bengal.
5. Sukri Bommagowda:
Sukri has been singing tribal folk music since the past 55 years. He is lovingly called the “Nightingale of Halakki” because of his contribution to Odisha’s most popular recorded song “Rangabati”.
6. Genabhai Dargabhai Patel:
His efforts to save his drought-hit village from the troubles, have been humongous. Not only has he succeeded in solving the water issues but also has made it possible for Banaskantha (his village) to become the largest producer of pomegranate in the country. Due to his efforts, he is popularly known as “Anar Dada”.
7. Meenakshi Gurukkal:
This 76-year old woman from Kerela, popularly known as Meenakshi Amma, is a martial art champion. She started learning the art of ‘Kalaripayattu’ right from the age of 7 and is the oldest Kalaripayattu opponent in the state, today. She has been teaching this art form for over 65 years now.
8. Chintakindi Mallesham:
The 44-year old man is the inventor of Laxmi ASU machine. This machine reduces the labor to weave a silk sari from 4 hours to 1.5 hours. His mother’s hardships inspired him to do this for her. This innovation has affected 60% of the weaving industry.
9. Balbir Singh:
He has resurrected a 160 km long river Kali Bein in Punjab. He did so by mobilizing youth, raising awareness, gathering funds and personally traveling to places to request people to not throw sewer into the river. His mission has been successful and now he aims to take up this mission for other rivers. He goes by many names like “Rastewale Baba”, “Sadakanwale Baba” and “Eco Baba”, one for each of the things that he did.
10. Daripalli Ramaiah:
Popularly knows as ‘Chetla Ramaiah’ (Chettu meaning tree), this man has planted over 1 crore trees in his life. He aims to make India a green nation and every time he sees a barren spot, he plants the seeds that he carries with him. He is lovingly known as ‘The tree man of India’.
11. Bipin Ganatra:
After losing his brother to a fire, he volunteered as a firefighter in Kolkata. He has helped in every fire accident that has happened in Kolkata in the last 40 years. Apart from the fire brigade officials, he is the only one who has helped the people trapped in every fire accident without caring about his own safety.
12. Dr. Suniti Solomon:
When the doctors in the older times did not want to talk about AIDs because there was so much stigma attached to it, Solomon was the first woman in India who made it a point to not only do a lot of research about the matter but also help create awareness amongst the people. She diagnosed the first AIDS case in India in 1985 and is the main brain behind India’s first Aids Research group.
13. Anuradha Koirala:
This 67-year social activist has saved over 45000 trafficking cases from being executed and rescued over 16,000 victims that were prone to this inhumane issue. She is the founder of rehabilitation home ‘Maiti’ that operates under her guidance.
14. Dr. Subroto Das:
He provides medical relief to the people who get injured in highway accidents. He started off in Gujrat but has now spread his services over different states. His team is known to reach within 40 minutes of the occurrence of the accident due to which he has saved over 1000 lives. He started this foundation after he met with an accident and realized the need of this service as the medical services provided to him were not up to the mark.
15. Girish Bhardwaj:
He spearheaded the successful building of over 100 low-cost and eco-friendly bridges to connect numerous remote villages in India. For this he is called the ‘Sethu Bandhu’, popularly. Along with his team, he tries to construct cost-effective bridges. He also tries to complete the bridges within 3 months instead of the usual 3 years.
We salute these heroes and hope that they will lead the way for more such heroes to be recognized and felicitated.
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