ORS pioneer among 26 unsung heroes chosen for Padma awards

New Delhi:  Centre has announced the list of India’s highest civilian honours after the Bharat Ratna, Padma awards. The list comprises one Padma Vibhushan award and 25 other names of unsung heroes from the fields of social work, medicine, literature and education for Padma Shri awards.

The Padma Vibhushan will be awarded posthumously in the field of Medicine (Pediatrics) to Dilip Mahalanabis, who pioneered the wide use of ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) that is estimated to have saved over 5 crore lives globally.

He demonstrated the effectiveness of ORS while serving in Refugee camps during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, having returned from the US to serve, said the statement from the government. Mahalanabis died in Kolkata in October 2022.

The other person from the field of medicine Ratan Chandra Kar will be awarded with Padma Shri. He is a retired government doctor from Andamans working with the Jarawa tribe who inhabit an island 48 km from North Sentinel.

Kar treated Jarawas during the measles epidemic of 1999 and brought them back from the verge of extinction, contributing to increasing in population from 76 to 270. He also closely observed and documented their culture and tradition in his book called ‘Andamaner Adim Janajati Jarawa’.

Hirabai Lobi is a Siddi tribal social worker and leader, who dedicated her life to the betterment of the Siddi community in Gujarat. She provided education to children of the Siddi tribe through the many Balwadis she founded. She will be awarded with Padma Shri.

Munishwar Chander Dawar, a war veteran and doctor from Jabalpur treating underprivileged people for the past 50 years will also be awarded with Padma Shri. Dawar is selflessly treating the poor and weaker sections of society at an affordable cost of Rs 20, up from Rs 2 in the 2010s.

Among other Padma Shri awardees include Ramkuiwangbe Newme, Naga Social Worker from Dima Hasao who dedicated his life for the conservation and preservation of Heraka religion; Gandhian and Freedom Fighter from Payyanur V. P. Appukuttan Poduval; Kakinada-based social worker Sankurathri Chandra Sekhar who dedicated his life to providing free medical and education services to needy people; expert snake catchers from Irula tribe, specialised in catching dangerous and venomous snakes Vadivel Gopal and Masi Sadaiyan; 98-year-old self-sustained small farmer Tula Ram Upreti who is practicing organic farming using only traditional methods; Nekram Sharma, organic farmer from Mandi; Tribal Ho language Scholar, working for four decades for its preservation and promotion Janum Singh Soy; Toto (Dengka) language preserver Dhaniram Toto; 80-year-old linguistics professor from Telangana B. Ramakrishna Reddy among others.

–IANS

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