The Padma Shri honorees include organic farmer K Chellammal, Mallakhamb coach Uday Vishwanath Deshpande, microbiologist Yazdi Maneksha Italia, and Longpi potter Machihan Sasa.

New Delhi: India’s first woman mahout, Parbati Baruah, also known as “Hasti Kanya,” tribal environmentalist Chami Murmu, social worker Sangthankima, who manages Mizoram’s largest orphanage, and plastic surgeon Prema Dhanraj, who heals burn patients, were among 34 “unsung heroes” honoured with the Padma Shri on Thursday.

In addition, there is South Andaman organic farmer K. Chellammal, international Mallakhamb coach Uday Vishwanath Deshpande, renowned microbiologist Yazdi Maneksha Italia, who spearheaded the development of India’s first Sickle Cell Anaemia Control Programme, and Ukhrul-based Longpi potter Machihan Sasa, who has spent five decades preserving ancient Manipuri traditional pottery, which dates back to the Neolithic era (10,000 BC). These individuals are included in the list, which was released on the eve of the 75th Republic Day.

The coveted civilian honour also went to Jangaon-based Gaddam Sammaiah theatre performer Chindu Yakshaganam, who has performed this art form for over five decades in over 19,000 shows; Jankilal, a Behrupiya artist from Bhilwara; Babu Ram Yadav, a brass Marori craftsperson; and Nepal Chandra Sutradhar, a Chhau mask maker.

Among the other Padma Shri recipients are sculptor Sanatan Rudra Pal, who specialises in creating Sabeki Durga idols, Valli Oyil Kummi folk dancer from Coimbatore Badrappan M., bamboo artisan from Mangan Jordan Lepcha, and Sabda Nrutya folk dancer from Bargarh Bhagabat Padhan.

The list also featured the first female Harikatha exponent, Uma Maheshwari D, the Kalluvazhi Kathakali dancer Balakrishnan Sadanam Puthiya Veetil, the Mach theatre artist from Malwa region, Omprakash Sharma, the Chakma Loinloom shawl weaver from Tripura Smriti Rekha Chakma, and Krishna Leela singer from Ganjam.

Bhadu folk singer Ratan Kahar, Tikuli painter Ashok Kumar Biswas, who is recognised for having revived and modified the art style of the Mauryan era via his work over the last fifty years, and the Godna painters who overcome societal shame to achieve international acclaim Padma Shris have also been given to Shivan and Shanti Devi Paswan.

A traditional medicine practitioner from Narayanpur named Hemchand Manjhi, a tribal farmer from Chirang Sarbeswar Basumatary, a tribal welfare worker from Somanna, a rice farmer from Kasaragod named Sathyanarayana Beleri who preserved 650 rice varieties, a divyang social worker from Sirsa named Gurvinder Singh, and a tribal welfare worker from Jashpur named Jageshwar Yadav round out the list.