New Delhi, May 11, 2008
Madhuri Dixit received the prestigious Padma Shri
award on May 10, 2008 from President Pratibha Patil for her outstanding
contribution to Indian cinema. She said, "It is a great honour.
I am elated."
NRI Mittal, steel tycoon, the world's third-richest
person, behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and Manoj
Night Shyamalan Hollywood director also received
Padma Shri awards.
NRI astronaut Sunita Williams did
not come to receive the Padam Bhushan.
Ratan Tata, Metroman E Sreedharan, chess wizard
Viswanathan Anand, ex-bureaucrat P N Dhar, environmentalist R
K Pachauri, ex-Chief Justice of India A S Anand, Melody queen
P Susheela, economists Lord Meghnad Desai, Kaushik Basu and Padma
Desai also received the Padma Bhushan award.
Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
several ministers attended the prestigious Padma
Shri award function.
The Padma Shri is awarded to recognize distinguished
service to the nation. The Padma Shri was originally established,
in January 1954, as the "Tisra Varg" or "Third
Class" of a three-class "Padma Vibhushan" award.
This medal was originally described as circular bronze medal,
1-3/8 inches in diameter, with an embossed lotus flower in the
center with the legend "Padma Vibhusman" above and a
floral wreath below.
Padma Shri also called Padma Shree, Padmashree,
Padma Sree and Padma Sri, stands fourth in the hierarchy of civilian
awards after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma
Bhushan. On its obverse, the words "Padma" and "Shri",
in Devanagari, appear above and below the lotus flower. The geometrical
pattern on either side is in burnished bronze. All embossing is
in white gold.