Padma Shri Awards 2019: Saluting These 8 Senior Citizens

Age can either be an excuse to slow down or it can be an opportunity for relentless pursuits. This year’s Padma Shri awardees saw a huge number of senior citizens who have been doing ground-breaking work in various fields. From a farmer to a tea-seller, there was no dearth of inspiration from these older adults. Here are the Padma Shri awardees for 2019:


1Rajkumari Devi

Rajkumari Devi aka Kissan Chachi

Also known as Kissan Chachi, 65-year-old Rajkumari Devi hails from Bihar. She got married as a child but that did not stop her from empowering other women in her village. She has mobilized 300 plus women to become financially independent and forming self-help groups. She is also the founder of the Anandpur Jyoti center and trains women to create varieties of pickles and chutneys.

2Tsering Norboo

Tsering Norboo

Also known as the wonder surgeon of Ladakh, 70-year-old Tsering Norboo has performed 500 surgeries in the last 50 years. His feat is especially commendable because he worked against odds like difficult terrains and remote areas. He has been a constant crusader for the fight against smoking and tobacco.

3Sudama Kate

Sudama Kate

65-year-old Sudama Kate is the pioneer of sickle cell research in India. He has been diligently working with the tribals of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Till date, he has screened over 2 lakh people for sickle cell and identified 3000 patients for treatment from these tribal belts.

4Saalumarada Thimmakka

Saalumarada Thimmakka

Saalumarada Thimmakka is a legend and rightly so. She is a 106-year-old lady of trees, as she has dedicated the last 65 years of her life planting and nurturing trees. She has been spreading awareness about deforestation and is often invited to seminars and environmental programs.

5Madurai Chinna Pillai

Madurai Chinna Pillai

Madurai Pillai is a 65-year-old farmer hailing from South of India. She never went to school but that didn’t stop her from creating and spreading community-based microfinance for poverty reduction. She is the pioneer of the Kalanjiam movement in the villages of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

6Daitari Naik

Daitari Naik

75-year-old Daitri Naik is lovingly called the canal-man of Odisha. When there was a water shortage in his village, he single-handedly dug a km long canal to bring water to the agricultural fields in his village for irrigation and drinking.

7D Prakash Rao

D Prakash Rao

59-year-old is a tea-seller from Cuttack, Odisha. He has been providing education to slum children through the money he earns by selling tea. He contributed half the income generated from selling tea to set up a school in Cuttack.

8Dr. Shayama Prasad Mukherjee

Dr. Shayama Prasad Mukherjee

Dr. Mukherjee is an unstoppable 84-year-old physician, who still sees over 40 patients in a day. He charges them only a nominal fee of Rupees 5 and distributes medicines free of cost. He has been making a big difference in the health of the poor.

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