Meet the Padma awardees from Northeast India


The Padma awards are one of the highest civilian awards of the nation, announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day.

The awards are conferred in three categories: Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri which recognises achievements in various disciplines or field of activities such as art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, civil service, sports and other activities which may include propagation of Indian culture, protection of Human Rights, wildlife protection or conservation, etc.

This year the President has approved conferment of 119 Padma Awards, of which 15 are from Northeast India.

Padma Shri

1. Ms. Lakhimi Baruah (Social Work) – Assam

Lakhimi Baruah is the founder of Konoklata Mahila Urban Cooperative Bank (KMUCB) which made a difference in the lives of thousands of economically and educationally backward women by providing them with credits and thus making them financially independent.

2. Shri Gopiram Bargayn Burabhakat (Art) – Assam

He is an Assamese singer who has made an immense contribution in the field of traditional music of the region.

3. Bijoya Chakravarty (Public Affairs) – Assam

She represented Guwahati in the 13th Lok Sabha and won the seat for the BJP for the first time ever in 1999. Under the premiership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, she served as the Union Minister of State for Water Resources.

4. Ms. Sangkhumi Bualchhuak (Social Work) – Mizoram

Sangkhumi Bualchhuak is the key initiator of many reforms in the Mizo Society that have led to life-changing policies for the upliftment of women in particular, and the society in general.

5. Ms. Radhe Devi (Art) – Manipur

She is a Potloi Setpi or a traditional bridal wear designer. She has dressed over 1,000 brides in her lifetime.

6. Shri Mangal Singh Hazowary (Literature and Education) – Assam

He is a Sahitya Akademy recipient and has been working for the cause of Bodo literature and language.

7. Ms. Anshu Jamsenpa (Sports) – Arunachal Pradesh

She is an Indian mountaineer and the first woman in the world to scale the summit of Mount Everest twice in a season, and the fastest double summitter to do so within 5 days which is the fastest double ascents of the tallest crest by a woman.

8. Shri Dulal Manki (Art) – Assam

He is a Jhumur singer from the state of Assam and will be conferred the Padma Shri award for his service to arts.

9. Shri Nanadro B Marak (Others – Agriculture) – Meghalaya

He is an organic black pepper farmer from Meghalaya’s West Garo hills district. He began organic black pepper farming in 1986. His variety now gives an average yield of 3.2 kilos per tree which is almost three times higher than other growers in the state.

10. Shri Rewben Mashangva (Art) – Manipur

Known for reviving the musical tradition of the Tangkhul Naga of Manipur, Rewben Mashangva also received the National Tribal Award 2011-12, for his contribution to the development of tribal music from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India. Influenced by musicians like Bob Dylan and Bob Marley, Rewben Mashangva has created many Naga tribal folk songs based on blues and ballad rhythms.

11. Ms. Birubala Rabha (Social Work) – Assam

She is an activist who runs an organisation called Mission Birubala which spreads awareness against witch-hunting. She was instrumental in the Assam Government passing the Prevention of and Protection from Witch Hunting Act, 2015.

12. Shri Satyaram Reang (Art) – Tripura

He is considered to be one of the most accomplished performers of the Hojagiri dance and of Kokborok songs. He has been instrumental in preserving and promoting the traditional Hojagiri dance of the Reangs and his work has been recognised by the people of the region and various institutions of northeast India.

13. Shri Roman Sarmah (Literature and Education - Journalism) – Assam

He is a litterateur, writer, columnist and also a practicing advocate of Gauhati High Court. He is currently the editor of a 90-year-old Assamese magazine, Bordoichila. He has written several books and also many articles and columns for both Assamese and English newspapers. He is actively associated with leading literary and cultural organisations of Assam.

14. Shri Imran Shah (Literature and Education) – Assam

Nawab Imran Shah is an Indian Assamese language writer, poet, novelist, and scholar. His first book of poems "Banvashi" was published when he was in the ninth standard.

Padma Bhushan

Shri Tarun Gogoi (Posthumous) for Public Affairs – Assam

Gogoi had led the Congress government for three consecutive terms from 2001 to 2016, during which he had taken bold decisions and dealt with insurgency and secret killings in the state with a firm hand. He passed away at 86 in Guwahati on November 23 last year after a prolonged battle with post-COVID health complications.