New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee today presented the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards at a Civil Investiture Ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. A number of personalities from the entertainment industry as well an adman received awards from a grateful nation for their excellence and contributions in various fields.
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were vice president M Hamid Ansari, prime minister Narendra Modi, and the union ministers of Home Affairs, Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Human Resource Development.
The personalities from the world of arts, culture, sports and other fields honoured today include stars like Ajay Devgn, Rajnikanth, Anupam Kher, Priyanka Chopra and Madhur Bhandarkar from the world of cinema; badminton player Saina Nehwal and archer Deepika Kumari from the world of sports, ad-wizard Piyush Pandey, and Reliance Industries founder late Dhirubhai Ambani.
The awards have been divided in two batches, with another function to be held later.
Iconic actor Rajnikanth, media and film magnate Ramoji Rao, and renowned classical vocalist Girija Devi had been named for the second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, awarded for exceptional and distinguished service.
Veteran actor Anupam Kher and singer Udit Narayan are the only recepients from the entertainment industry apart from Heisnam Kanhaukak of the Padma Bhushan, given for distinguished service of high order. Indu Jain of Bennett Coleman and Co also received the Padma Bhushan.
Many of the awardees like Rajnikath, Priyanka Chopra and Ajay Devgn took to the twitter to express their feelings, while others like Anupam Kher also gave interviews to the media before he went in to receive his accolade.
The Padma Shri Awardees for distinguished service from the entertainment field include directors Nila Madhab Panda (I want to be Kalam), S S Rajamouli (of the Baahubali fame) and Madhur Bhandarkar; filmmaker Narendra Chandra Lal from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; actor Ajay Devgn and actor--inger Priyanka Chopra, ad guru Piyush Pande; and a posthumous award to the late veteran actor Saeed Jaffrey.
In the field of sports, the Padma Bhushan awardees are badminton ace Saina Nehwal, and tennis star Sania Mirza, while those getting Padma Shree are Deepika Kumari for archery from Jharkhand, and sports commentator Sushil Doshi.
In the field of music, the Padma Shree recepients are Pt Tulsidas Borkar of Goa for classical music; Dr Suma Ghosh of Uttar Pradesh for vocal singing; and Bhikhudan Gadhvi of Gujarat, Mamta Chandrakar of Chhatisgarh, and Bhojpuri singer Malini Awasthi of Uttar Pradesh for folk music, and late Shri Prakash Chand Surana (posthumously) of Rajasthan for classical music.
The eminent dancer Yamini Krishnamurthy who has churned thousands of disciples gets the Padma Bhushan, dancer Pratibha Prahlad who founded the Delhi International Arts Festival, and Gulabi Sapera who is a folk dancer from Rajasthan gets the Padma Shree.