President Ram Nath Kovind conferred eminent personalities with the Padma Awards. Champions of change, Maharashtra awardee social activist Sindhutai Sapkal was also awarded the Padma Shri.
Sindhutai Sapkal often referred to just as ‘Sindhutai’ or ‘Mai’ is often called as the ‘Mother of a thousand orphans.’ Sidhutai has nearly 2,000 orphans and is grandmother to even more.
‘Champions of Change, Maharashtra’ is a very prestigious Maharashtra state recognition award for promoting Chhatrapati Shivaji’s values of courage, community service and inclusive social development. The awards will be accorded across various fields to those who truly personify the principles and values of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who was an epitome of bravery and courage. The awardees will be selected by constitutional jury members headed by Justice Gyan Sudha Misra (Former Supreme Court Judge).
The first edition of Champions of Change Award took place on 26th December 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi with Hon’ble Vice-President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu as the Chief Guest and the notable awardees included Sh. N Biren Singh, Chief Minister of Manipur and Sadhvi Niranjana Jyoti (Member of Lok Sabha) among others.
During the other two editions which took place in January 2020 and April 2021, the esteemed awardees included Chief Minister of Jharkhand Sh. Hemant Soren, Deputy CM of Delhi Sh. Manish Sisodia, Union Minister of State Sh. Anurag Thakur, Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Sh. MK Stalin, Chief Minister of Goa Sh. Pramod Sawant, Legendary film actress and Politician Hema Malini, Bollywood Actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra and famous Playback Singer Sonu Nigam among others.