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Ten distinguished personalities, including four women, from seven of the eight Northeast states were conferred Padma Shri awards in different fields.

The four women are Shakuntala Choudhary of Assam for social work while Lourembam Bino Devi and Muktamani Devi, both from Manipur, were recognised for their contributions in art and trade and industry, respectively, and Badaplin War of Meghalaya in the field of literature and education.

Shakuntala Choudhary, a supervisor at the Kasturba Ashram in Ulubari of Guwahati, was awarded Padma Shri for her extraordinary social work. The 102-year-old, Gandhian social worker has dedicated her life to sanitation in south Indian villages. She is popularly known as ‘Shankuntala Baideo’.

Veteran applique textile artist Lourembam Bino Devi, 77, famous for preserving the Leeba textile art of Manipur for over five decades while Muktamani Devi, 49, is an inspirational woman entrepreneur exporting and popularising handcrafted woollen shoes.

Badaplin War, 60, a scholar and author, has been always promoting Meghalaya’s Khasi language globally.

Manipur’s 58-years-old doll-making artist Konsam Ibomcha Singh, a resident of Imphal East district, who is preserving over a 100 years old art form and Sikkim’s Khandu Wangchuk Bhutia, 62, an eminent Tangkha painter specialising in traditional Buddhist paintings on cotton and silk, are also featured in the field of art.

Nagaland’s T Senka Ao, Assam’s Dhaneswar Engti, and Mizoram’s VL Nghaka, all authoring many books, have been conferred the Padma Shri awards in the field of literature and education.

Senka Ao, 76, has been doing works in preserving Nagaland’s Ao language through his writings over decades while nonagenarian Nghaka is a Hindi author and translator from Aizawl is well-known for developing a Hindi-Mizo dictionary. Karbi author and poet from Karbi Anglong district Engti, 66, has been working towards preservation and advancement of indigenous languages.

Buddhist spiritual leader from Arunachal Pradesh and former Abbot of the Tawang monastery Guru Tulku Rinpoche, 53 also got the Padma Shri award.

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