Former chief justice of India M N R Venkatachaliah, noted filmmaker Gulzar, cricket captain Saurav Ganguly and Rahul 'The Wall' Dravid on Wednesday received Padma awards from President A P J Abdul Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
A distinguished jurist and former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, 75-year-old Venkatachaliah was presented the prestigious Padma Vibhushan by President Kalam.
Renowned poet, novelist and short story writer Amrita Pritam and eminent astronomer and astrophysicist Prof Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, the two other Padma Vibhushan awardees, were not present.
Yoshiro Mori, former Japanese prime minister, who has been instrumental in normalisation of relations with India and rescinding of economic sanctions imposed in the wake of the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests, was not present to receive the Padma Bhushan award.
In his characteristic style, President Kalam stepped down from the podium on 15 occasions to pin the medals on those who were old and found it difficult to walk.
The nation's highest civilian honour 'Bharat Ratna' was not announced this year.