4 French nationals conferred Padma awards


Our Bureau

New Delhi

Four French citizens have been conferred with the Padma Shri, the highest representation from any foreign country. The awards recognize exceptional contributions in various fields.

Among the distinguished awardees from France are a 100-year-old yoga exponent, Charlotte Chopin; Kiran Vyas, 79, a globally acclaimed practitioner of yoga and Ayurveda; Pierre Sylvain Filliozat, 87, a Sanskrit scholar dedicated to advancing studies in Indian culture, and Fred Negrit, an Indologist fostering heightened awareness and appreciation of Indian culture.

Though she started doing Yoga at the age of 50 Charlotte aced it quickly. She began teaching Yoga in France in 1982 and her popularity grew tremendously. Yoga is one of the most prominent practices in the French nation for those pursuing fitness and mental peace. The 100-year-old still teaches Yoga in Paris and has achieved remarkable fitness.

A former student of the Sri Aurobindo International Education Center in Pondicherry, Kiran Vyas founded three experimental schools with his father who was one of Mahatma Gandhi’s closest collaborators. He chose to settle in France to make Ayurveda “science of life” known in Europe.

Pierre-Sylvain Filliozat, (Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1936) is the son of the famous Indianist Jean Filliozat.  He is the author of numerous Indianist studies and collaborates in various projects for the dissemination of philological and archaeological works through digital tools with the National Indira Gandhi Center for the Arts of New Delhi.

Fred Negrit, from France, is commended for his accomplishments in Literature and education. 

Established in 1954, the Padma Awards are prestigious civilian honors in India, announced annually on Republic Day eve. They are presented in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher order), and Padma Shri (distinguished service). This year there are five Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 110 Padma Shri awardees. Of them, 30 awardees are women.

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