President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday posthumously honoured former Union Ministers George Fernandes, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj with Padma Vibhushan, the country's second-highest civilian award.
At the event, a total of 119 persons were conferred with Padma awards 2020 which include seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri, in an event which was organised in Rashtrapati Bhavan here in the national capital today.
Other dignitaries who were awarded Padma Vibhushan include boxer MC Mary Kom, former Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth GCSK, classical singer Chhannulal Mishra and Vishveshateertha Swamiji Sri Pejavara Adhokhaja Matha Udupi (posthumous).
Awardees for the Padma Bhushan include businessman Aanand Mahindra and badminton player PV Sindhu.
"I am very happy and am going to work harder in future. I also thank the Government of India and the President for this award," said Sindhu.
Padma Shree awardees include Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, singer Adnan Sami, filmmakers Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor and social activist Harekala Hajabba.
Hajabba is a fruit vendor who has devoted his life and life's earnings towards educating other poor children of his Newpadupu village in Dakshin Kannada.
"Around 175 students are currently studying in the school I built in my village for poor students. I have a dream to build a college after school," said Hajabba.
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah were among the dignitaries present on the occasion.
The Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards are given to people for their outstanding work in various fields of society, mainly in the fields of art, literature, medicine, sports, education, social work, public work and business. (ANI)