The government on Saturday announced the names of this year’s recipients of the Padma awards. Former Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and George Fernandes – all of whom died in 2019 – were posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the nation’s second highest civilian honour.
The list had 141 awards – seven Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri. Thirty-four of the recipients were women.
Notable recipients of the Padma Vibhushan included boxer MC Mary Kom and classical singer Chhannulal Mishra. Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Gugnauth has also been awarded the Padma Vibhushan, NDTV reported.
Some of the winners of the Padma Bhushan honour were Jammu and Kashmir politician Muzaffar Hussain Baig, industrialist Anand Mahindra and sportsperson PV Sindhu.
Activist Abdul Jaffar, who fought for the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, was conferred the Padma Shri posthumously, News18 reported. Jabbar died on November 14 last year as a result of the lung ailments he suffered during the gas tragedy. The Madhya Pradesh government had conferred him with the Indira Gandhi Social Service Award soon after he died.
Jabbar fought against the Union Carbide company, for the victims of the tragedy, which killed thousands, in courts for adequate compensation for about five lakh affected people and families of victims. In 1987, he set up the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangthan, a survivors’ organisation demanding sustenance allowance and compensation.
Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, television producer Ekta Kapoor and film producer and director Karan Johar were also awarded the Padma Shri for their contribution to the field of art. Singers Adnan Sami and Suresh Wadkar and veteran television actor Sarita Joshi were also conferred the award.