The central government announced the list of Padma award recipients on Tuesday. No less than 128 people were honored this year.
Seven personalities from various fields in Tamil Nadu won the civil awards this year. They are:
Sowcar Janaki for art
Sankaramanchi Janaki popularly known as Sowcar Janaki or Shavukaru Janaki, the veteran actress has appeared in over 450 films, mostly in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages. She also performed on stage in over 3000 shows and was a radio artist in her early years. She performed on stage in 3 popular plays, written and directed by K. Balachander and tried out a wide variety of roles throughout her 71 year career.
Sirpi Balasubramaniam for literature and education
Sirpi Balasubramiam, originally from Tamil Nadu, India, is a poet, critic, scholar and lecturer. Born in Aaththupollachi in Coimbatore, he obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Annamalai University and Madras University respectively. A lecturer at Pollachi’s NGM College, he later became a professor in the Tamil department of Bharathiar University. In his literary front, he produced more than a dozen works of poetry and literary criticism. In 2001, he received the Sahitya Akademi Translators Award for his Tamil translation of Lalithambika Antharjanam’s Agnisakshi.
S Damodaran for social work
Born in 1952, Damodaran, was a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. Prior to being elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, he served as President of Thalakkarai Panchayat (1984-1989) and Member of Union Pollachi North Panchayat (1996-2001).
AKC Natrajan for the art
AKC comes from a long line of wind instrument players in his family. Kuppuswami Naidu, his grandfather, was a nagaswaram performer who eventually switched to clarinet. Alathur Sri Venkateswara Iyer taught AKC Carnatic Music and Ellupur Sri Natesa Pillai taught him the basics of nagaswaram.
AKC’s first performance dates back to 1946. Even in its early years, it had many opportunities to perform for such deans as Ariyakudi Ramanuja Aiyengar, TN Rajarathinam Pillai and Palakkad Mani Iyer.
R Muthukannammal for art
Muthukannamal, 82, comes from the seventh generation of a family of Sathir dancers from Viralimalai, 28 km from Tiruchy. She has been dancing since the age of 8. His father Ramachandra Nattuvanar served as his tutor. Currently, Muthukannamal is teaching Sathir to interested people.
The latest Devadasi-Sathir dancer recently received the DakshinaChitra Virudhu, an annual award instituted by Madras Craft Foundation and Friends of DakshinaChitra to honor folk artists.
Dr Veeraswamy Sehiah for medicine
Seshiah, born in Chennai, is a medical graduate, completed his MD from Stanley Medical College and studied under the great professor, Prof. M Viswanathan, who is the father of diabetes in India. While serving in the state government, he joined as an assistant professor at Madras Medical College (MMC) and had the opportunity to work with his mentor, Professor Sam GP.
Seshiah is currently a diabetologist at Dr. V Seshiah Diabetes Research Institute. He has received a number of international and national awards in recognition of his academic, clinical and research contributions. During his service, he was recognized as an outstanding teacher, clinician, scholar and astute researcher, committed to public health initiatives and in particular the well-being of women.
Ballesh Bhajantri for art
Ballesh starred as Shehnai in the Hindi film Raanjhanaa, which featured music by Oscar winner AR Rahman. He also played shehnai in Imtiaz Ali’s 2011 Hindi film Rockstar, with music by AR Rahman, for the song “The Dichotomy of fame”.