New Delhi: Handsome Saif Ali Khan donned a white ‘sherwani’ and Rekha looked gorgeous in a saree at the prestigious Padma Shri awards ceremony. The awards were presented to some of the remarkable personalities of India at the Ashoka Hall in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi by the President of India, Dr Pratibha Patil. Kareena Kapoor, who was looking radiant in an ethnic wear by Manish Malhotra applauded animatedly for her beau.
The entire Ashoka Hall reverberated with applause as actor Saif Ali Khan walked up to the President to receive his Padma Shri at the function attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other guests.
Flashbulbs popped at Khan and Kareena Kapoor as they walked in together to attend the ceremony.
NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, music composer Ilaiyaraaja and top businessman Vindi Banga were conferred the Padma Bhushan awards.
Noted mrudangam exponent Umayalpuram K Sivaraman, former RBI Governor Y V Reddy and nonagenarian artiste Zohra Sehgal were honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the country`s second highest civilian awards.
Sachin Tendulkar`s `guru` Ramakant Achrekar, boxer Vijender Singh, sound technician and Oscar award winner Resul Pookutty and ace car racer Narain Karthikeyan were among those conferred with the Padma Shri.
Chatwal, whose selection for the award had triggered a controversy, was seen seated in the last row of the awardees almost behind a battery of lensmen.
Painter Akbar Padamsee, former Cabinet Secretary and now Member in the Planning Commission B K Chaturvedi, educationists Moosa Raza, Anil Bordia and Gian Prakash Chopra were honoured with the Padma Bhushan.
Other Padma Bhushan awardees were: cardiologist B M Hegde, nuclear scientist Bikash Sinha, historian Bipin Chandra, kathak exponent Kumudini Lakhia, panchavadya exponent Kuzhur Narayana Marar, versatile artiste Mallika Sarabhai, banker N Vaghul, eye specialist Noshir Minoo Shroff, music composer Shrinivas Khale, sarangi player Ustad Sultan Khan and Ayurveda practitioner E T Narayanan Mooss.
Sculptor Arjun Prajapati, versatile Assamese dramatist Arun Sarma, liver transplant specialist Arvinder Singh Soin, social worker Deep Chandra Joshi, businessman Deepak Puri, Manipuri Ras exponent Haobam Ongbi Ngangbi Devi and noted Indologist of German origin Hermann Kulke received the Padma Shri.
Nemai Ghosh, who had done camera work for Satyajit Ray, music exponent Shobha Raju, environment activist Ranjit Bhargava, TVS Motor Company Chairman Venu Srinivasan, businessmen Irshad Mirza, Kapil Mohan, founder of Nirma Karsanbhai Patel and T N Manoharan received the Padma Shri.
Ghulam Mohammad Mir, who played a key role in fighting terrorism in Kashmir valley and in the release Rubaiya Sayeed, the then Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed`s daughter from militants, was honoured with the Padma Shri.
With PTI inputs