GUWAHATI: The nominees of the prestigious Padma Shri Awards has been released today and several unsung heroes hailing from different parts of India have featured in this list. Among the nominees were two note worthy names from Assam.
Parbati Baruah, who is also referred to as ‘Hathi ki Pari’, has made her state proud and has been honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri award for her incredible talent of taming elephants.
Baruah, an elephant mahout, happens to be the first female mahout of India who began taming the majestic beasts, that too at the age of 14.
She has also been instrumental in her commitment towards curbing human-elephant conflict by applying scientific practices to assist three state governments in tackling and capturing wild elephants.
Belonging to the Royal family of Gauripur in Assam, Parbati decided to take this path after learning the skills, which she has been honing for over four decades now, from her father. She is also the sister of Goalpariya Folk artist and another Padma Shri Awardee Pratima Barua Pandey.
Next up on the list is Sarbeswar Basumatary, also known as “Chirang ka Krishi Chiraag.”
The 61 year old progressive farmer who hails from the Panbari region of Chirang district, has managed to successfully adopt the practice of mixed integrated farming approach and has also cultivated several varieties of crops.
He has adopted a community centric approach and has spread his knowledge and learning with other farmers to improve productivity and uplift their livelihoods.
His struggle is truly commendable. Due to lack of formal education, he was compelled to work as a daily wage labourer.
However, the tides have turned for him and he has now became a role model for his community and has inspired a lot of people.
Earlier last month, the Assam government had conferred him with the Assam Gaurav for using innovative techniques to revolutionize agriculture.
Meanwhile, noted folk artiste from Assam Drona Bhuyan, an exponent of Ojapali and Deodhani dancer, has also been named for Padma Shri Award 2024.
Born in Satghoria in Assam’s Darrang district in 1956, he has several recognitions to his name, the likes of which include the ‘Guru’ title from the Ministry of Culture, Jibon Jora Sadhona Bota from Asom Sanskrit Mahasava and Bishnu Rabha award from Assam government.
He had also taken the initiative to open a training centre for Suknanai Ojapali and Deodhani in Darrang.
The trio rounded off the winners from the state on the list which named five Padma Vibhushan awardees, 17 Padma Bhushan and 110 Padma Shri winners for the year 2024. The awards will be conferred officially by the President of India, Droupadi Murmu later this year.