‘Plastic Man’ to the ‘Snake Man’ – TBI Heroes Among Padma Shri Awardees!

From the daily wage labourer and housemaid who struggled for 20 years to build a free hospital for the most underprivileged to India’s first paralympic Gold Medallist as early as 1972, the Padma Shri Awards this year have honoured the contributions of over 73 individuals from fields like Arts, Education, Industry, Literature, Science, Sports, Medicine, Social Service and Public Affairs.

And we take immense pride to say some of the awardees have been TBI heroes as well, who have impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands individuals and communities.

Padma Shri Awards 2018
Source: Facebook/ (L) / T (R)/ B (R)

Here’s a list of some of these outstanding unsung heroes!

Rajagopalan Vasudevan

Source: Twitter/PIB_India

This Madurai Professor is known as the ‘Plastic Man of India’. He patented an innovative method of reusing plastic to construct roads. Thanks to his technology, India made it mandatory for all road developers in the country to use waste plastic, along with bituminous mixes, for road construction. This is one step ahead to curb the problem of plastic waste.

Read more about his story here.

Subhasini Mistry

3 Subhasini Mistry Padma Shri 2018
Source: Twitter/PIB_India

Subhasini Mistry’s husband died due to lack of medical facilities in her village. Soon she was pushed out of her home along with her children. Broken hearted, she swore that she would construct a hospital in the very village, so that no other poor villager would die over a lack of medical treatment.

People mocked her saying, “She could not even count her money when she first started selling vegetables. How can she build a hospital when she cannot even rebuild her own home, which is in shambles?”

But she proved everyone wrong. Twenty years after her husband’s death, she started a clinic which was later transformed into a hospital. Read Subhasini’s story here.

Bhajju Shyam

4 Bhajju Shyam Padma Shri 2018
Source: Twitter/PIB_India

His life was never a bed of roses. From struggling for a better life in his village to working as a security guard in MP, Bhajju Shyam’s journey to becoming an acclaimed Gond artist, illustrator, and writer is nothing short of spectacular.

Today, his book, ‘London Jungle Book’, has been published in five foreign languages and his paintings have been exhibited around the globe.

“How did a tribal man like me go from a village in a forest to a city like London? That’s the question in everyone’s mind. It’s quite simple. An artist goes where there is work.”

Read more about his story here.

Sudhanshu Biswas

6 Sudhanshu Biswas Padma Shri 2018
Source: Twitter/PIB_India

The man has been around for almost a century. At 99, this freedom fighter spent his life fighting against the British Rule. He then dedicated it to serve the most underprivileged. Founder of the Sri Ramakrishna Sevaashram in West Bengal, he runs free schools, orphanages and dispensaries.

Read more about his story here.

Read more: Adorable Padma-Winning Couple Has Been Dancing Together for over 50 Years

Arvind Gupta

1 Arvind Gupta - Padma Shri 2018
Source: Twitter/PIB_India

An IIT Kanpur electrical engineering alumnus, he quit his job at Telco, when his mother (who never attended formal school) insisted he do something noble in life. For over 40 years, the man has been taking his love for science and learning to the children of India. He has travelled to over 3000 schools and uses only everyday garbage as the building blocks for making scientific experiments.

Read more about his story here.

Romulus Whitaker

12 Romulus Padma Shri 2018
Source: Twitter/PIB_India

Known as the Snake Man of India, the 74-year-old was born in America but took up Indian nationality. He is a herpetologist and wildlife conservationist who founded the Madras Crocodile Bank and is also the founder director of the Snake Park in Chennai. The park was set up to rehabilitate the Irula tribe – who are known for their expertise in catching snakes.

Read more here.

Rani and Abhay Bang


13 Rani and Abhay Bhang Padma Shri 2018
Source: Twitter/PIB_India

Husband-wife duo Dr. Rani and Dr. Abhay Bang dedicated their lives completely to the social and educational upliftment of the lowest of the low, namely, the tribal people of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra, by providing effective medical and public health services to them.

Despite having a successful career in the United States, they decided to return to India and set up a grassroots health organization SEARCH (Society for Education, Action & Research in Community Health) in 1986 to help the most underprivileged and backward sections.

Read their story here.

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Mukesh Pathak
Entrepreneur, CEO & Founder of Indian Achievers Story & Social Hindustan. | Best Content Creator 35 UNDER 35 Madhya Pradesh | Motivational Speaker & Mozilla Tech Speaker | Software Developer