From archaeologist to folk singer: Meet the Padma Awardees from Tamil Nadu

The awardees include music maestro Ilaiyaraja and archaeologist Ramachandran Nagaswamy.
From archaeologist to folk singer: Meet the Padma Awardees from Tamil Nadu
From archaeologist to folk singer: Meet the Padma Awardees from Tamil Nadu
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The government announced the list of Padma Awardees on Thursday evening, and people from various fields have received the honour from Tamil Nadu.

You can view the full list of awardees here.

Ilaiyaraja: A recipient of the second-highest civilian honour, music maestro Ilaiyaraja has composed over 6500 songs in his career spanning over 40 years. He catapulted to international fame in 2002 when his song 'Rakkama kaiyathattu' from Rajinikanth-starrer Thalapathy was chosen as the fourth most popular song in a poll conducted by the BBC World Service worldwide.

Ramachandran Nagaswamy: An Archaeologist, historian and epigraphist, he has been awarded the Padma Bhushan.

He was the first director of the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department. The roles he has undertaken also includes being a Consultant to the government for the Tanjavur Brihadisvara Project. He has written a book titled ‘Tamil Nadu – The Land of the Vedas’. He also founded the Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival along with Kapila Vatsyayan.

Padma Shri awardees

Nanammal: A 99-year-old yoga instructor from Ganapathy, Coimbatore, Nanammal will be conferred the Padma Shri award for her contribution to the spiritual art form. She was only recently honoured with the Nari Shakti Puraskar Award, which she received from the President on the International Women’s Day. She has also given a demo to Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi during her trip to the capital.

Nanammal has also received the Karnataka Government’s Yoga Ratna Award. While receiving it, she reportedly performed in front of a 20,000-strong audience. She has been practicing yoga from the age of 10.

Vijayalakshmi Navaneethakrishnan: A Tamil folk singer and composer,  she is a renowned exponent of Tamil folk art. She has dedicated her entire life towards the preservation of Tamil folk and tribal music. The has co-authored 11 books and has recorded over 10,000 cassettes of folk music.

Rajagopalan Vasudevan: Known as plastic road-maker of India, he developed and patented an innovative method to reuse plastic waste to construct roads. He gave the technology for free to the Government of India. The government made it mandatory for all road developers in the country to use waste plastic for construction within 50km of cities.

His method has been used to lay more than 5,000 km of roads across 11 states.  

Romulus Earl Whitaker: A herpetologist and wildlife conservationist, he founded the Madras Snake Park, The Andaman and Nicobar Environment Trust and the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust. Romulus has been also been the subject of many documentaries, and even produced one in 1996. He has also been enlisted by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation as a wildlife consultant.

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