One of the highest civilian awards of the country, Padma Awards are conferred in three categories -- Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
PM Modi said his government has given more importance to the work that the nominees did than to their identities. The old methodology used to decide who will get the Padma Awards has changed; it has become more transparent, now that anyone can nominate any person online, PM Modi said.
As he was addressing the nation today, the Prime Minister's Office tweeted the names of some people who are not seen in newspapers and television, but who have done such work as worthy of being conferred the Padma Awards.
"I am sure you all felt proud after reading about the Padma Awards," PM Modi said in his monthly radio address.
He congratulated Arvind Gupta, an Indian Institute of Technology graduate who went on to make toys from garbage for children for over four decades. The 30-year-long dedication to social work by Karnataka resident Sitavaa Jodatti, who has been helping Devdasis and Dalits in Belgaum district, also found a mention in the Prime Minister's speech.
"You may have noticed that many ordinary people not visible in big cities, in newspapers or on TV are being awarded with Padma citations," PM Modi said.
Laxmikutty, a tribal teacher in Kerala who has created some 500 herbal medicines including antidote to treat snake bites, and West Bengal resident Subhasini Mistri, 75, who built a hospital for the poor with money that she saved by working as a maid and selling vegetables, were some of the people who, in PM Modi's own words, "not visible in big cities" and who were conferred the Padma Awards.
The 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 given in various disciplines of activities, art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service.