Seven achievers from various fields from Tamil Nadu and one from Puducherry have been chosen for the Padma Shri awards that were announced on Tuesday. No one from the state were among the four personalities chosen for Padma Vibushsan and 17 chosen for Padma Bhushan. The following is the list of Padma Shri awardees from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
Sirpi Balasubramaniam (Literature and Education), S Ballesh Bhajantri (Art), S Damodaran (Social Work), Sowcar Janaki (Art), R Muthukanammal (Art), AKC Natarajan (Art), Dr Veerasamy Seshiah (Medicine) Thavil Kongampattu AV Murugaiyyan (Art)
Distinguished Tamil Poet, scholar and a two-time Sakitya Akademy winner. Balasubramanaiam had served as the head of the Department of Tamil at Bharatiar University in Coimbatore. He has won several awards including the Bharathidasan award, Government of Tamil Nadu award among many others. Some of his finest works include Siritha Muthukkal, Sooriya Nizhal, Oru Gramathu Nadhi, etc. His poems have been translated into English, Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam, etc.
Legendary actor Sowcar Janaki has acted in over 400 films across Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu. She was a prominent radio artist at ‘Akashavani Madras’ since her early years. She was part of several stage shows and throughout her film career, she was known as a versatile performer. Janaki made her debut in 1950 through the Telugu film ‘ Shavukaru’ following which got her the moniker ‘Sowcar’. Her association with Tamil director K Balachander was widely appreciated by the audiences. Apart from receiving the Filmfare lifetime award (South) in 1984, she has won several accolades. At 91, she is still acting in films and keeps entertaining the audiences.
Muthukannamal is among the last Devadasi Sathir dancer from Viralimalai, Trichy. Sathir, is an ancient dance form. She served the deity at the Murugan temple in Viralimalai. In 2018, she was honoured with DakshinaChitra Virudhu, an annual award presented by the Friends of Dakshinachitra to honour the folk performing artists.
Hailed as the Clarinet Everest, Natarajan is a recipient of the Madras Music Academy’s Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 2008. He even received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1994. Considered a legendary icon, he had performed in various leading Sabhas in Chennai and other cities and been part of several concerts.