Ankola: Sukri Bommagowda, a member of the Halakki Vokkaliga community, who was awarded the Padma Shri by the government of India met Prime Minister Narendra in Ankola and spoke about her community’s joy at having two of its members receive the prestigious award.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday met Padma Shri recipients Tulsi Gowda and Sukri Bommagowda in Ankola.
The Padma Shri recipients Tulsi Gowda and Sukri Bommagowda expressed their delight and joy on meeting PM Modi.
“I am very happy that PM Modi came here in Ankola. This is for the first time any Prime Minister came here. We all are very happy. Our children were very excited to see him. I gave my love and blessing to him,” said Sukri Bommagowda popularly called the nightingale of the Halakki Vokkaliga tribes.
When asked how she felt as the world recognises her community after winning the ward, she said that it is a proud moment for all and everyone in her community is elated.
“I felt very happy after getting the Padma Shri award, not only me my Halaki Vokaliga community felt very proud. My one simple request to the government is that they should include us under the ST category which will be beneficial to our community and secure our children’s future,” she said while talking to ANI.
Sukri Bommagowda won the Padma Shri, the third-highest civilian honour in the country, for folk singing in 2017.
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“I started singing folk songs at the age of 12. I learnt it from my mother,” she said.
Sukri Bommagowda has been honoured with several medals in the past. She sings approximately seven thousand different kinds of folk songs.
Another Padma Shri recipient Tulsi Gowda said, “I am very happy that PM came from Delhi to meet Ankola people he took my blessing. I also met him in Delhi earlier we all were very happy to see him.”
Tulsi Gowda, an environmentalist, was conferred with the Padma Shri award in 2021.
“I felt very happy after receiving the Padma Shri award. Along with me, the whole of Uttar Kannada was delighted,” she added.
Gowda, 83, who is from Honnali village in Karnataka, had planted more than 3 lakh saplings. She belongs to Halakki Tribal in Karnataka and provides advice to the forest department regarding the environment. She is known as the Encyclopaedia of Forests due to her extensive knowledge of various plant and herb species.
A resident of Ankola and renowned lawyer and columnist Nagraj told ANI that Padma Shri awardee Tulsi Gowda and Sukri Bommagowda both belong to the Halaki Vokaliga community.
“I have written the article of Padma Shri Tulsi Gowda about 2-3 years back and it was published in a local paper. After that, our MP Ananth Kumar ji requested me to translate it into English. I sent the article and after a few days I saw that she was conferred the Padma Shri award. It was not only a happy moment for me but for our entire Kannada district. We are very thankful to PM Narendra Modi and his government for recognising these two women from the state’s backward area,” he added.
Karnataka will go to Assembly polls on May 10 and the counting of votes on May 13.
(With ANI inputs)