New Delhi: Ahead of the Republic Day celebrations, the government on Saturday announced the names of 23 awardees, including two women from Brazil, who will be conferred the Padma Shri Award this year.
The two Brazilian women for the country’s fourth-highest civilian award of Padma Shri are Gloria Areria and Lia Diskin.
According to the government, Areria, a resident of Rio De Janerio in Brazil is a pioneer in Sanskrit and Vedanta and has dedicated herself to the teaching and promotion of Advaita Vedanta in the traditional manner in the Portuguese language.
Areria has been teaching Vedanta and Sanskrit in Rio de Janeiro and other cities in Brazil and she regularly speaks on spirituality, self-knowledge and mainly on the teachings of the Vedas. She has also translated many Sanskrit texts into Portuguese, including the Bhagavadgita, Upanishads and several others. She has also founded Vidya Mandir, a non-profit institution based in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, and has been working since 1984 to preserve the culture and knowledge of the Vedas.
The government said that Areria had started her studies at the Arsha Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai in January 1974 under the guidance of Swami Dayananda. During her stay in India, she also studied in ashrams in Uttarkashi and Rishikesh and traveled to various parts of India to attend courses, lectures and visited holy places in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. She returned to Brazil in 1978. The government said that Diskin, an eminent Gandhian scholar from Brazil, has been selected for the Padma Shri award this year as she is actively involved in the promotion of Gandhian values of peace and non-violence for the past four decades. Diskin, who is of Argentinian origin, has stayed in Brazil for over 30 years and has admiration for India, its people, and culture. She is an author as well as a sought-after speaker at various Universities in Brazil and has also authored many books on education, peace, ethics, and culture. (IANS)