Padma Shri for Patiala orthopaedist, Ludhiana businesswoman

Five from Punjab get the fourth-highest civilian award

Padma Shri for Patiala orthopaedist, Ludhiana businesswoman

Dr Ratan Lal Mittal & Rajni Bector

Tribune News Service

Patiala/Ludhiana, January 25

A Patiala orthopaedist and a Ludhiana businesswoman are among five from Punjab to receive this year’s Padma Shri — the fourth-highest civilian award — announced by the Union Government on the eve of Republic Day today.

Dr Ratan Lal Mittal, a former Professor and Head of Orthopaedic Department at Government Medical College, Patiala, is known for performing rare clubfoot surgeries free of cost. Dr Mittal has done cutting-edge research on severe, rigid and neglected clubfoot deformities — highly prevalent in lower and middle income countries, including India.

Dr Mittal, while talking to The Tribune, said: “This is the result of my 60 years of hard work. I feel satisfied now.”

Octogenarian businesswoman Rajni Bector rose from her backyard business with a paltry investment of Rs 300 to become an undisputed business tycoon. The IPO of her company — Mrs Bectors Food Specialities — made history by getting oversubscribed 198 times and listed at 74 per cent premium on the offer price. “I feel blessed and express my gratitude to the government for recognising my services,” she said.

The other recipients of the award are Prakash Kaur (social work), Lajwanti (art) and Kartar Singh (art).

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