The Telangana government on Sunday felicitated Padma awardees and presented a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh.
Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy also announced that Padma Shri awardee poets and artists will be paid a monthly pension of Rs 25,000 each.
He felicitated former Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and popular actor Chiranjeevi, who were conferred with Padama Vibhushan by the Centre.
The Chief Minister also felicitated Padma Shri awardees Dasari Kondappa, D. Uma Maheshwari, Gaddam Sammaiah, Velu Ananda Chari, Kethavath Somlal and Kurella Vittalacharya.
The awardees were presented a cheque of Rs 25 lakh each.
Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, minister Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Jupally Krishna Rao, P. Srinivasa Reddy and government advisor Vem Narender Reddy also felicitated the awardees.
The Chief Minister said the government is conscious of its responsibility to felicitate Padma awardees and termed it as an apolitical programme. He noted that Telugu is the second most spoken language in the country.
It’s a matter of pride that Telugus have received Padma awards, he said.
“No matter in which region Telugus live, they are our own. This programme has started a good tradition and it should continue,” he said and called for unity to protect culture and traditions.
The Chief Minister said artists who have kept folk arts alive were receiving recognition and applause but they were struggling to meet their daily needs. Keeping this in view the government decided to give Rs 25,000 monthly pension to Padma Shri awardee poets and artists.
Revanth Reddy stated that Venkaiah Naidu is the only leader who travels to remote areas to know people’s problems. He said it was a matter of pride for Telugus that he held the office of the Vice President and wished that he become the President.
He also lavished praise on Chiranjeevi. He said at a time when actors take pride in the success of a couple of films, Chiranjeevi is continuing his journey with flying colours even after a 46-year-long career and over 150 films.
Venkaiah Naidu said he was never after awards and felicitations. When the Centre announced the Padma Vibhushan award, he agreed to accept it out of respect for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.
Praising Chief Minister Revanth Reddy for honouring Padma awardees, he said unsung heroes were identified and conferred with the awards.
Voicing concern over the falling values in politics, he said it was the responsibility of all citizens to protect them. He said those in public life should adhere to high values.