Late singer SP Balasubrahmanyam. (HT archive)
Late singer SP Balasubrahmanyam. (HT archive)

Tamil Nadu’s Padma awardees include Balasubrahmanyam

In all, 11 from the state have been conferred Padma awards; 10 got Padma Shri while the late singer was awarded Padma Vibushan, the second-highest civilian award
By Divya Chandrababu
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2021 03:45 PM IST

Padma awards have been conferred on 11 people from poll-bound Tamil Nadu. They include musician SP Balasubrahmanyam, who passed away in September 2020. He has been awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award. The remaining 10 have been conferred with the fourth-highest civilian award -- Padma Shri.

The Padma Shri awardees include Sridhar Vembu, a businessman and the co-founder of tech firm Zoho Corp. An alumnus of Princeton University, Vembu moved from San Francisco to a Tamil Nadu village in 2019. The following year, Forbes named him the country’s 59th richest man.

Also read | Sudarshan Sahoo, Narayan Debnath among recipients of Padma Awards

Vembu dedicated the award to his colleague and family. “Your support keeps me going,” tweeted Vembu, who is focussing on setting up schools in rural areas.

Solomon Pappaiah, 84, another Padma Shri recipient, is a TV debates’ moderator. Known for his oratory and scholarship in Tamil literature, he has moderated over 5,000 debates over six decades.

Papammal, 105, who has been running an organic farm for over nine decades in Coimbatore, has also been conferred with the award.

Marachi Subburaman, 71, has been awarded the fourth-highest civilian award for working towards eradicating open defecation and promoting women empowerment. He has helped build three million eco-friendly and low-cost toilets.

Thiruvengadam Veeraragavan, popularly known as the “two-rupee doctor” from Chennai, has been given the award posthumously. He dedicatedly his life to serving the poor until his death in August at 70.

Other awardees include Subbu Arumugam, 94, for preserving a dying form of ancient musical storytelling, Jayashri Ramnath, who has successfully straddled Carnatic and film music as a vocalist, cartoonist K C Sivasankar (posthumously) and P Anitha. Anitha, a basketball player, and a coach was the youngest Indian captain at 19.

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