Four Puneites have featured in the Padma awardees list,declared on Tuesday. While Gandhian thinker Shobhana Ranade and late Dr K B Grant are honoured with Padmabhushan,archaeologist M K Dhavalikar and para-jumper Sheetal Mahajan won Padmashree.
I am so happy with this honour. Throughout my years of work,I have received many awards and laurels. Each one is as special as the other, said Ranade,secretary of the Gandhi National Memorial Society that manages the Aga Khan Palace. This third highest civilian award has only strengthened her lifes mission,she says. Such awards fill you with enthusiasm to further pursue your work. It makes me want to do more and more. My lifes mission is to do social service, says Ranade who has worked for the empowerment of women and children and championed the cause of khadi.
Dr K B Grant has been conferred Padmabhushan posthumously for his contribution in the field of medicine-cardiology. Dr Grant pined for recognition all these years. It is unfortunate that he got it 20 days after his death, said Bhomi Bhote,nephew of Dr Grant and CEO of Ruby Hall.
It was unexpected but joyful as it is a national recognition. It will definitely boost my work, said Padmashree recipient M K Dhavalikar,who at the age of 80 is still very active in research and delivering guest lectures at Deccan College and for Indology course of Tilak Maharashtra University. Also a recipient of Ravindranath Tagore fellowship,Dhavalikar has recently published a book titled Aryans: Myth and Archaeology.
World record holder Sheetal Mahajan is the first woman in the world to have para-jumped over both North and South Poles without trials. I feel amazing. I am honoured that the President saw me worthy enough to be considered for a national award. I feel that all my national and international achievements so far have been recognised through this one gesture. I will be attempting a para-jump over Mt. Everest this year in October, she said.