Five eminent personalities from various walks of life have won this year’s Padma awards from Karnataka. The government of India on Friday evening announced the highest civilian awards of the country on the eve of India’s 70th Republic Day as per convention. One of the highest civilian awards of the country, the awards are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
All the five recipients of this year from Karnataka has been conferred the Padma Shree.
Noted particle physicist and currently a professor at IISc, Rohini Godbole is best known for her work at CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research. Her stellar work in the field of high energy photons is touted to be the platform on which particle colliders of future generation will be built. Apart from her scholarly work in her own subject, Rohini is celebrated for her effort of inspiring young students, especially women to pursue a career in science. She has also edited ‘Lilavati’s Daughters’-- a collection of biographies of female scientists of India
A PhD holder in Archeology, Sharda Srinivasan is a professor at National Institute of Advanced Studies and is a pioneer in archaeometry, archaeometallurgy and other forms of engineering applications in studying archaeology. She did her Masters degree from School of Oriental and African Studies, London after her B Tech in Engineering Physics from IIT, Mumbai. Apart from academics, Sharda is an accomplished Bharatanatyam performer.
Saalumarada Thimakka is an environmentalist from Karnataka who shot to fame for planting and tending to 385 banyan trees along a four-kilometre highway stretch. She planted the trees between Hulikal and Kudoor village near her husband's hometown. She, along with her husband, tended to the trees and have often described the trees as their "own children". Thimakka and her husband are childless. They used to spend their evenings taking care of the trees until they grew sturdy. The trees are now managed by the Karnataka government.
She is also the recepient of the Karnataka Rajyotsava award, Nadoja award by Hampi University and National Citizen award by Government of India, among other national and international accolades. Her selfless work has also inspired many others to take up the cause of environmental causes.
Rajeev is a classical musician from Karnataka and a disciple of Ali Akbar Khan. He is considered one of India's leading exponents of sarod. His early training came through his father Pandith Tharanath. In spite of completing a PhD in Literature, Rajeev decided to train under Ali Akbar Khan and learn music. He continued to learn from Ali Akbar Khan until his demise in 2009. He is known for his masterful combination of depth and rigour of the traditional Hindustani classical music. He has received several awards, including the Indian Government's highest award in the arts, the Sangeet Natak Academi Award in 1999-2000, in recognition to his outstanding achievement in the field of Hindustani Instrumental music. He has also been awarded by the Karnataka government for his contribution to music.
Known as the Indian Michael Jackson, actor and dancer Prabhu Deva has thrilled audiences with his agile moves and choreography in a career spanning 25 years. The actor has performed, acted and choreographed dance sequences in several films in multiple languages including Hindu, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu, among others. He has even previously won two national awards for Best Choreography , including for the 1996 film Minsara Kanavu, starring Kajol and Aravind Swamy.