Three personalities have been awarded the Padma Shri posthumously.

P Anitha, Bombay Jayashree and Gearman Subramanian who have been conferred Padma Shri
news Padma Awards Monday, January 25, 2021 - 22:30

Basketball player P Anitha, ‘Gearman’ P Subramanian and Bombay Jayashri are among the Padma Shri awardees from Tamil Nadu in 2021. The awards were announced on Monday by President of India Ram Nath Kovind.

The annual awards are usually announced on the eve of Republic Day. This year, seven persons were awarded Padma Vibhushan, 10 persons were conferred with the Padma Bhushan and 102 persons were awarded the Padma Shri. This year’s Padma Vibhushan list included singer SP Balasubrahmanyam who has been awarded posthumously.

From Tamil Nadu, ten personalities have been selected to be conferred with the Padma Shri this year.

P Anitha - Sports

Chennai-based P Anitha (35) was the captain of Indian women’s national basketball team and has a record 30 medals in various national championships to her name. She was also the youngest ever to captain the national senior women’s basketball team and was its captain for eight years. She has participated in several big sporting events like the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. 

Subbu Arumugam - Arts

Villuppaattu exponent Subbu Arumugam (94) has been conferred with the Padma Shri. He was awarded the Kalaimamani award in 2019 by the government of Tamil Nadu. Born in Tirunelveli district, Subbu Arumugam was introduced to villuppaattu at the age of 17 by comedian NS Krishnan. In his career, he has also written comedy tracks and dialogues for films.

Pappammal - Others (Agriculture)

Making a mark with her organic farming, the 105-year-old centenarian from Coimbatore has been awarded the Padma Shri by the Union government. Born in Devalapuram village and raised in Thekkampatti village in Coimbatore district, Pappammal was interested in agriculture from an early age. She saved up enough from the income from her provision store and bought a 10-acre land to cultivate. She started her agricultural journey by cultivating corn and eventually also enrolled in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) to formally learn about agriculture. She was also elected the councillor of Thekkampatti panchayat in the first ever panchayat elections held in the state. In due course of time, Pappammal sold off a portion of her land and kept around 2.5 acres for herself, in which she practices organic farming at present.

Solomon Pappaiah - Literature and Education (Journalism)

Tamil scholar and television anchor Solomon Pappaiah (84) has been awarded the Padma Shri this year. Born in Tirunelveli, Solomon Pappaiah is best known for moderating ‘patti mandrams’ in Tamil, usually held during festivals. He completed his Masters in Tamil literature, worked as a professor and has spent over 60 years in the field of Tamil literature. His lucid explanation of Thirukkural and his humorous moderation of debate shows is widely appreciated among audiences.

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath - Art

Born in Kolkata and brought up in Mumbai, ‘Bombay’ Jayashri Ramnath (58) is known for her music in the classical and film world. She has sung for several music composers and is a known exponent of Carnatic and Hindustani music. She performed her first public concert in 1982 and has since performed across India and the world. She was awarded the Kalaimamani award by the government of Tamil Nadu in 2007 and has also won the Tamil Nadu State film award for best playback singer (female) once.

KC Sivasankar - Art (Posthumous)

KC Sivasankar was a legendary artist who spent over 60 years illustrating and bringing to life many fictional characters. His works featured in the children’s magazine ‘Chandamama’ aka Ambulimama. He was also known for illustrating the Vikram Vetal series. He was 97 years old when he passed away in September 2020. Born in Erode, he and his family moved to Chennai when he was all of ten. He was hired by Nagi Reddy in 1952 and created the iconic Vikram Vetal series in the 1960s.

Marachi Subburaman - Social work

71-year-old Marachi Subburaman has been working to eradicate open defecation for over two decades. Born in Tamil Nadu’s Trichy, Marachi Subburaman set up an NGO named Society for Community Organisation and People’s Education (SCOPE) in 1986 with an aim to empower women and help people lead a comfortable life by working to improve their livelihoods. The focus of SCOPE shifted to sanitation in 1996 and it has been working towards ensuring people have access to usable, clean toilets.

‘Gear man’ P Subramanian - Trade and Industry (Posthumous)

Coimbatore’s own ‘Gear man’ P Subramanian is known for founding Shanthi Gears, which is now a part of the Murugappa Group. He was one of the earliest entrepreneurs from Coimbatore, who focussed on providing gears for the spinning mills in the city. Slowly growing his venture, Subramanian was able to set up his own company, which emerged among the top three players of gears in India. Subramanian was also known for his charitable activities in the city under the name of a trust ‘Santhi Social Service’. The trust provides education to those in the underprivileged sections of the society and also runs a canteen, a hospital and a pharmacy apart from a diagnostic centre, a crematorium, a petrol pump, eye-care centre and a blood bank. The canteen provides free food for 300 senior citizens every day apart from provided food at nominal prices for others. He was 78 when he passed away in December 2020.

Dr Thiruvengadam Veeraraghavan - Medicine (Posthumous)

Famously known as Vyasarpadi’s ‘Two rupees’ doctor, Dr Thiruvengadam Veeraraghavan was known for his charitable clinic, which hugely benefited those from the underprivileged sections of the society. He started these services in 1973. He was popular among people of North Chennai region. For three decades, the doctor provided services at nominal prices to close clinic down for the first time. He passed away in August 2020.

Sridhar Vembu - Trade and Industry

Sridhar Vembu is a businessman and billionaire from the state. Born in Thanjavur district, he founded a company called AdventNet in 1996 to make software products. The company did well as the importance of IT services boomed over time. In 2009, the company was renamed as Zoho Corp and it ventured into the space of providing online applications. In 2020, Sridhar Vembu was declared by Forbes as the 59th richest person in the country.


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