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Home Minister Rajnath Singh hosts dinner for Padma awardees

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New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh tonight hosted a dinner for 41 prominent people, who will be honoured with Padma awards tomorrow.

The Padma awardees, many of them “unsung heroes” who served the poor, set up free schools and popularized tribal arts globally, shared their experiences and life stories at the gathering.

A home ministry official said this was the second time that such a dinner was organised for the Padma awardees by the home minister.

These Padma awardees, who have been working tirelessly, are the torchbearers of the “New India”, the official said.

Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni and billiards champion Pankaj Advani are among those who will be honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind tomorrow.

The function will be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministerial colleagues among others will attend it, the official said.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and MoS Home Kiren Rijiju will also be present.

This year, 84 Padma Awards were announced, including two duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one). The list comprises three Padma Vibhushan, nine Padma Bhushan and 72 Padma Shri awards, the official said.

The awards — Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri — are announced on the eve of Republic Day every year.

They are given in different fields and disciplines such as art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, civil service, trade and industry.

The first lot of 43 awardees of the Padma awards 2018 were honoured at a special function held on March 20.