Kuldip Nayar, (posthumously) Prabhu Deva, Shankar Mahadevan, Vishwanath Mohanlal, Harika Dronavalli, Sharath Achanta, Karia Munda, Hukumdev Narayan Yadav, Sukhvinder Singh Dhindsa were among those who were conferred Padma awards here on Monday.
President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the prestigious awards to bevy of artists, politicians, medical practitioners, social workers, digital pioneers and philanthropists at a glittering function attended among others by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, the event was marked by a large number of absentees.
The sole Padma Vibhushan winner author Babasaheb alias Balwant Moreshwar Purandare was absent. Nobody turned up to receive the Padam Shri awarded posthumously to Hindi film actor Kader Khan. Late Columnist Kuldip Nayar’s Padam Bhushan was received by his wife.
Sportspersons, people from film industry, and medical practitioners received loud ovation but the largest cheers went to visually impaired Muktaben Pankajkumar Dagli who has founded an Institution for Blind Women in Surendranagar, Gujarat.
The President stepped down to confer Padam Shri on 85-year-old Caranatic music exponent Kadamputharamadom Gopalan Thanthri Jayan who came in a wheel chair.
The President and Prime Minister later met the award winners briefly.