Hyderabad: Spiritual leaders Swami Chinna Jeeyar and Kamlesh D Patel, music director M. M. Keeravaani, linguist B. Ramakrishna Reddy and social worker Sankurathi Chandra Sekhar are among the personalities from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh who have been awarded Padma awards this year for their contributions in their respective fields.
Both Padma Bhushan awardees are from Telangana. Swami Chinna Jeeyar and Patel have been conferred the honour for their contributions in the field of spiritualism.
Three personalities from Telangana also figure in the list of Padma Shri awardees. Seven personalities from Andhra Pradesh have been conferred Padma Shri.
Sri Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar Swami is religious leader known for his spiritual discourses on Vaishnavism. The 66-year-old was born in Andhra Pradesh and has his ashram on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
He is the designer and planner of the Statue of Equality, a 216-feet tall statue of 11th century social reformer and saint Ramanujacharya. The statue, said to be the world’s second largest statue in a sitting position, was unveiled at Chinna Jeeyar’s ashram by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February last year.
Patel, fondly called ‘Daaji’m is the fourth in lineage of the Gurus of Shri Ram Chandra Mission that propounds the Sahaj Marg system of Raj Yoga meditation.
Since taking charge as the President of Shri Ram Chandra Mission, Daaji has also been steering the tenets of the organisation. He also founded Heartfulness – an organiaation that is bringing the unique meditation practice through ‘Pranahuti’ – an age-old technique revived by the early Gurus of Sri Ram Chandra Mission – closer to mankind and making meditation an accessible and free of cost practice.
Popular Tollywood music director M. M. Keeravani is among Padma Shri awardees from Andhra Pradesh. The 61-year-old composer on January 12 received Golden Globe award for best original song “Naatu Naatu” from S.S. Rajamouli’s blockbuster “RRR”. The song has also received an Oscar nomination in the best original song category.
The Padma Shri awardees from Telangana are B Ramakrishna Reddy (literature/education), Modadugu Vijay Gupta (science and engineering), and Hanmantha Rao Pasupuleti (medicine).
Ramakrishna Reddy, an 80-year-old linguistics professor from Telangana, made immense contributions towards preservation of tribal and southern languages like Kuvi, Manda, and Kui. He built a cultural bridge connecting tribal languages with other languages. He drafted Manda-English dictionary and Kuvi-Oriya-English dictionary while also co-authoring five books towards this cause.
The Padma Shri awardees from Andhra Pradesh are Ganesh Nagappa Krishnarajanagara (engineering), Keeravaani (Arts), Abbareddy Nageswara Rao (science/engineering), Kota Satchidananda Sastry (arts), Sankurathri Chandra Sekhar (social worker), C.V. Raju (Arts) and Prakash Chandra Sood (literature and education).
Sekhar is a Kakinada-based social worker who dedicated his life to providing free medical and education services to needy people. After losing his wife and two children in the Air India Kanishka bombing, he channelised his grief into a lifelong commitment towards betterment of society. He was instrumental in the treatment of over 3 lakh eye patients with 90 per cent surgeries free. He also provided free education to more than 3,500 children from economically weaker sections