Hyderabad: Many deserving Telugus were left out from the Padma awards. Some of them were Telangana ideologue Prof. K. Jayashankar, educationist late Prof. G. Rami Reddy, IIT educationist Mr Chukka Ramaiah, artists Laxma Goud, Aelay Laxman, Kapu Rajaiah, Thota Vaikutam, filmmaker B. Narsing Rao, lyricists Ande Sri and Gorati Venkanna, Suddala Ashok Teja, writer “Ampasaiah” Naveen and Prof. N. Gopi (all recommended by Telangana).
Stalwarts like film director Bapu, L&T chief A.M. Naik, Dr D. Nageshwar Reddy of Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Mr Chaganati Koteswara Rao, Kuchipudi dancer P. Rattaiah, former chief secretary Mr Mohan Kanda (recommended by Andhra Pradesh) missed the bus.
After bifurcation of the state, expectations were high among both the states that more people from AP and Telangana would be bestowed with Padma honours. The seven Telugus who got the award are Indian women’s cricket captain Mithali Raj, shuttler P.V. Sindhu and Dr Manjula Anagani (Telangana) and Dr Raghu Rama Pillarisetti in the field of medicine (recommended by TS), who is presently staying in USA.
Likewise, actor Kota Srinivasa Rao of Telugu films from AP, and Ms Kanyakumari Avasarala of Tamil Nadu, but originally a Telugu hailing from AP, Dr Dattatreyudu Nori of US, but hailing from AP and Ms Jayakumari Chik-kala of Delhi but hailing from AP got the Padma honours.
Kota Srinivasa Rao has acted in over 650 films. He has also served as MLA earlier from Vijayawada East Assembly. An elated Kota said he was happy that his work in films had been recognised. “The credit also goes to my fraternity who always supported me. I thank the government for recognising my work,” he said.
Though AP-recommended Dr Nori Dattatreyudu got Padma Shri in the medicine category, his name is listed as NRI and person of Indian origin from USA and not from AP. Dr Nori has an international reputation as a pioneer and authority in the filed of cancer and he has been referred to as “a recognised leader in his specialty” by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Currently, Dr Nori is at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Centre, where he is a professor and vice-chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. He is also the chairman of Radiation Oncology at New York Hospital Queens.
Speaking to this newspaper from the US, Dr Nori said: “This is another milestone in my career although I have received many awards in the US, UK and Europe; this is something special because it has been conferred by my motherland and recommended by the state where I was born.”
Vizianagaram born Ms Kanyakumari Avasarala got the Padma Shri under Arts category but her name figures in Tamil Nadu. She is a native of Vizianagaram, AP but has been living in Chennai for the last 40 years.
She is a reputed female violinist who has conducted many programmes and performances and is also the first female violinist to have given a non-stop marathon performance for 29 hours in 1988. She has also played a Ragamalika piece of 100 different ragas. Padma Shri was conferred on Dr Manjula Anagani, chief gynaecologist, obstetrician, infertility specialist and laparoscopic surgeon at Sunshine Super Speciality Institute, Hitec City, Hyderabad.
Dr Anagani said, “I am overwhelmed because it has been possible because of the support of my family members, patients and also my friends who have been with me all this while. The laparoscopic surgeries were possible because of the immense co-operation shown by the patients.”
She has performed 10,000 laparoscopic surgeries in gynecology, catapulting her to the top slot in AP.
Padma Shri award has also been conferred on Dr Raghu Ram P. who said, “It has been a great achievement. I dedicate this award to my mother Dr Usha Laxmi and also those patients who have struggled, battled and conquered breast cancer. I came back from the United Kingdom seven years ago and it has been a really satisfying time for me to come back and severe my motherland.”