New Delhi , Feb, 27: Nine prominent personalities, including an internationally acclaimed weightlifter, an author of adventure novels and a Gandhian, from the northeast were conferred the Padma Shri on the Republic Day.
Editor of Guwahati-based Assam Tribune, the most circulated English daily of the region, Prafulla Govinda Baruah, and educationist A Zakia from Mizoram were among the nine distinguished citizens who were honoured with the prestigious civilian award.
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, a female weightlifter from Manipur, who won gold in the 48-kg category at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships, was also conferred the award.
Assam's Arup Kumar Dutta, who has written 17 adventure novels for young and 14 books for adults, and Lentina Ao Thakkar, who has served for decades at a Gandhi Ashram in Nagaland's Mokokchung district, are also among the recipients.
Lentina is married to Natwar Thakkar, a noted Gandhian freedom fighter and social reformer.
Tennis player Somdev Devvarman from Tripura was also conferred the Padma Shri.
Devvarman hit headlines for being the only collegiate player to have made three consecutive finals at the National Collegiate Athletic Association winning back-to-back titles in his junior and senior years at the University of Virginia.
Only three other players have matched that record since 1950.
Langpoklakpam Subadani Devi from Manipur, a traditional weaver, who has got many prestigious awards including the Sant Kabir Award in handloom for promoting and preserving traditional way of making clothes, has been honoured with this year's Padma Shri award.
Nagaland's Piyong Temjen Jamir, the principal of Rashtrabhasha Hindi Shiksha Sansthan, Dimapur, has been conferred the award for his contribution to literature and education in the state.
Joyshree Goswami Mahanta, an educationist from Assam, who has penned several books, was conferred the Padma Shri. She is the wife of former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.
Padma awards - one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
The awards are given in various disciplines and fields of activities such as art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports and civil service.
The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.
This year, the President has approved conferment of 85 Padma awards including three Padma Vibhushan, nine Padma Bhushan and 73 Padma Shri awards.
With additional inputs from Pradip Chakraborty in Agartala