New Delhi, Mar 19: Home Minister Rajnath Singh tonight hosted a dinner for 43 prominent people, who will be conferred with the Padma awards tomorrow.
The Padma awardees, many of them "unsung heroes" who served the poor, set up free schools and popularised tribal arts globally, shared their experiences, their life stories at the gathering. "Had a great interaction with the Padma Awardees this evening. It is quite inspiring to hear the stories of their sacrifices and selfless service to the society. Their transformative work deserves to be honoured," Singh tweeted.
A home ministry official said this was for the first time that such a dinner was being organised for the Padma awardees by the home minister. These Padma awardees, who have been working tirelessly, are the torchbearers of the "New India", the official said. Noted music composer Illaiyaraja, Hindutava thinker P Parameswaran and 41 other prominent personalities will the conferred with the prestigious Padma awards of 2018 by President Ram Nath Kovind here tomorrow.
The function will be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here with the attendance of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministerial colleagues besides others, an official said. This year, as many as 84 Padma awards were announced, including two duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one). The list comprises three Padma Vibhushan, nine Padma Bhushan and 72 Padma Shri awards, the official said.
The awards -- Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri -- are announced on the eve of the Republic Day every year. They are given in different fields and disciplines such as art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, civil service, trade and industry.
The remaining of the Padma awards for 2018 will be conferred with the honour at another special function to be held on April 2.