Writer, folklorist, former journalist Vinayak Khedekar wins Padma Shri
The octogenarian has more than two dozen publications to his name and has been chronicling Goa’s cultural forms, including folk dances, tribal craft, through plays, research articles and books.
Goa’s noted folklorist, author and scriptwriter and former journalist Vinayak Vishnu Khedekar is among the 102 persons chosen for Padma Shri awards announced on Monday.
Khedekar, 82, who hails from the village of Savoi-Verem village in Goa that has produced many illustrious personalities, is the lone Padma recipient from the coastal state this year but he joins the list of eminent persons from Goa who have been granted the civilian honour, including cartoonist Mario de Miranda (Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan), fashion designer Wendell Rodricks, artist Laxman Pai, musician Remo Fernandes, and many others.
"I'm really happy that the Government of India has recognised my more than five decades work in the field of culture and traditions. It now feels like an added responsibility to continue with the work I have been doing. I really have many more miles to go now with the added recognition of a Padma Shri and am really indebted to the people and my audience and those who have made this possible," Khedekar told HT.
The octogenarian has more than two dozen publications to his name and has been chronicling Goa’s cultural forms, including folk dances, tribal craft, through plays in Konkani, Marathi and research articles and books.
Khedekar was a journalist writing for local Marathi daily Gomantak and The Navhind Times and was the Goa correspondent for Kesari, a Marathi Newspaper from Maharashtra, and for the news agencies Samachar Bharati and Hindustan Samachar besides also contributing to Loksatta, among others.
He has also worked on the advisory panel of ICCR New Delhi for folk Art and Puppetry for Festival of India in USSR.
Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat was among the first to congratulate him.
“Congratulations to noted Goan Culture Keeper Vinayak Vishnu Khedekar on being conferred Padma Shri Award. May God bless him with good health, happiness, peace and long life. Proud moment for Goa,” Kamat tweeted.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant too extended his wishes.
“My congratulations to Shri Vinayak Vishnu Khedekar Ji, expert on Goan folk and cultural heritage, and prominent author, on being conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri Award. A proud moment for Goa,” Sawant tweeted.