The late seer of Pejawar Mutt Vishwesha Tirtha Swami has been awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his contribution to spiritualism. As many as eight others from the State have been awarded the Padma Shri.
The seer, who passed away in December last, was known as a Hindu reformist spiritual leader. He was also among the religious heads to be in the forefront of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and was a vocal proponent for the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya.
Those who have been awarded the Padma Shri from Karnataka are M.P. Ganesh (sports), Bangalore Gangadhar (medicine), Bharat Goenka (trade and industry), Tulasi Gowda (social work), Harekala Hajabba (social work), K.V. Sampath Kumar and Jayalakshmi K.S. (literature and education- journalism), and Vijay Sankeshwar (trade and industry).
Mr. Ganesh, 73, a former hockey captain and coach from Kodagu, was part of the Indian team that won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Eight years later, Mr. Ganesh was part of the coaching staff as India won the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
Dr. Gangadhar, director of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, is a well-known psychiatrist who won the prestigious Sir C.V. Raman Award in 1999 and the B.C. Roy Award in 2010.
Mr. Hajabba from Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada has built a school, while Ms. Gowda from Honnalli village in Ankola taluk of Uttara Kannada has planted thousands of saplings in Ankola region. Mr. Hajabba told The Hindu that the award was an honour for the school. Ms. Gowda said, “Many saplings I had planted are trees now. I still visit the nursery.”
Mr. Hajabba, who is in his 60s now, has been eking out a living by selling oranges at Central Market in Mangaluru.
Mr. Goenka, a Bengaluru-based entrepreneur, co-founded Tally Solutions with his father, Shyam Sunder Goenka, in 1986. The company provides enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that has a registered user base of around two million. Mr. Sankeshwar is a transport and media baron hailing from north Karnataka.