President confers Padma Awards; Four Recipients from Maharashtra

Mumbai, 28 March 2022


President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind conferred Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri Awards for the year 2022, at the Civil Investiture Ceremony-II at Rashtrapati Bhavan, today. Amongst the awardees today, Padma recipients from Maharashtra include Dr. Prabha Atre – Padma Vibhushan, Dr. Balaji Tambe (Posthumous) – Padma Shri, Ms. Sulochana Chavan – Padma Shri, and Shri Sonu Nigam – Padma Shri.

Watch the award ceremony here:

Dr. Prabha Atre – Padma Vibhushan – Art

Dr. Prabha Atre is an internationally renowned, senior and front-ranking vocalist. She represents the Kirana Gharana. Born on 13th September, 1932, Dr. Atre has given a new dimension to Hindustani classical music and to Kirana Gaayaki in particular. She is the first vocalist to popularize Indian art music in the West since 1969, giving full-fledged vocal music concerts. She has created awareness in classical music on tonal quality of voice and clarity in the pronunciation of words and its effective use to express emotions.

Dr. Atre has released 11 books on music. Her books help global music lovers to appreciate Indian music and are being used as reference books.  Dr. Atre has established ‘Dr. Prabha Atre Foundation’ to fulfil her socio-cultural commitments and established `Swaramayee Gurukul’ to nurture talented students into professionals and train music lovers.

Dr. Atre has been honoured with Padma Shri, 1990; Padma Bhushan, 2002 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, 1991 amongst other prestigious honours and awards.

Shreeguru Dr. Balaji Tambe (Posthumous) – Padma Shri – Medicine

Shreeguru Dr. Balaji Tambe was a pioneering, world-renowned Ayurveda physician, author, spiritual guru, and public educator who made exceptional contributions to Ayurveda, Yoga, Meditation, Vedic Lifestyle and Healing Music. He is the founder of Atmasantulana Village – one of India’s largest Panchakarma centres, Santulan Ayurveda – known for Ayurvedic medicines in India and abroad, and Aum-Kurzentrum – Europe’s first Ayurveda and Panchakarma centre.

Born on 28th June 1940, Dr. Tambe, the son of a renowned Vedic scholar Shri Vasudeo Tambe Shastri, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1960, as well as an Ayurveda Vaidya Visharad in 1964.

Dr. Tambe is fondly known as ‘Family Doctor’, in Maharashtra. He authored a supplement in the Sakal Newspaper, for more than 18 years (over 3,400 articles). This is a unique contribution to modern Ayurveda to spread medical knowledge in simple language for the common man. Dr. Tambe passed away on 10th August, 2021.

Smt. Sulochana Chavan – Padma Shri – Art

Smt. Sulochana Kadam, known as Sulochana Chavan, is an Indian singer, known for her “Lavanis” in Marathi.

Born on 13th March, 1933, she started her professional singing career at the age of 10 years. Since 1960, Smt. Chavan has been conducting stage performances for giving donations to various schools, colleges, libraries, orphanages and hospitals in Vidarbha, Khandesh and Marathwada areas of Maharashtra. She raised a donation of Rs. 9 lakh for arranging necessary equipment in the Kuldham Hospital of Dr. Bhusari. She also conducted stage performances for the aggrieved people of flood-affected parts around the Pune Panshet Dam. She also performed for the Indian soldiers in Nagaland in 1969.

In 1955, she sang her first “Lavani” in the Marathi movie “Kalagi Tura“. She became famous with her Lavani “Mala Ho Mhantyat Lavangi Mirchi”. She has done playback singing for around 250 songs in 70 Hindi movies and over 5,000 songs in Marathi films, albums, throughout her career.

Smt. Chavan is the recipient of numerous awards and honours including the title “Lavani Samradhni” (Queen of Lavani) in 1965 for her singing; Lata Mangeshkar Award in 2010 from Government of Maharashtra and Lavani Kalavant Puraskaar in 2011. She also received Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2012.

Shri Sonu Nigam – Padma Shri – Art

Shri Sonu Nigam is a singer, music director and actor. He is well-known for his fiery, passionate and pitch-perfect stage performances.

Born on 30th July 1973, Shri Sonu began singing at the age of four. He learnt music from Shri Mohd Tahir Ji in Delhi and then Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan in Mumbai. Shri Sonu has sung over 6000 songs in more than 28 languages.

Shri Sonu, co-created and coined ‘Saregama’ in 1995 which was the first Musical Competition Television program of the world. The program changed the concept of music in the minds of the common man in the entire subcontinent and brought together the Veterans and Maestros of Film Music and Classical music along with the budding younger talents on one stage thus bringing about a revolution in the field of music in the entire subcontinent.

His mainstream hits include “Sandese Aate hai” which still remains the biggest ode to the Indian soldier through music and “Ye Dil Deewana”, a path-breaking song that catapulted him into an acknowledged versatile singer. In 2014 his score in the movie ‘Jal’, was short listed for Oscars.

Shri Sonu won National Award for his iconic song ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’.

The Civil Investiture Ceremony – I ( was held on March 21, 2022. President has conferred 128 Padma Awards this year, of which 10 eminent personalities from Maharashtra received the Padma Awards. Following six of the 10 awardees had received the Padma Awards on 21st March 2022.

Padma Bhushan

  1. Shri Natarajan Chandrasekaran – Trade and Industry
  2. Shri Cyrus Poonawalla – Trade and Industry

Padma Shri

  1. Shri Dr. Himmatrao Bawaskar – Medicine
  2. Dr. Vijaykumar Vinayak Dongre – Medicine
  3. Dr. Bhimsen Singhal – Medicine
  4. Shri Anil Kumar Rajvanshi – Science and Engineering

Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz. art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.


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