Kollam: Adithya Suresh, a 15-year-old hailing from Ezhaam Mile in the Kollam district of Kerala, has won the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar announced as part of the Republic Day celebrations. Adithya was selected for the award for excellence in the field of art and culture.
A Plus One (Class 11) student of the VGHSS Ambikodayam School, Kunnathur in Kollam, Adithya received the award comprising a cash component of Rs one lakh and a citation from President Droupadi Murmu at a function held in New Delhi on Monday.
Incidentally, Adithya was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare disease which causes frequent bone fractures. His bones break even under mild stress and Adithya moves around in a wheelchair. However, Adithya received the gift of a good voice and started singing at the age of four, even before he could speak properly.
He has now performed musical recitals on over 600 stages. At the recent Kerala State School Youth Festival (Kalolsavam) in Kozhikode, the youngster competed in the recitation contest and secured an ‘A’ grade. In fact, Manorama had reported on Adithya’s achievement.
Earlier, Adithya won several awards, including the state government’s Ujwala Balya Puraskaram. Adithya receives full support from his family comprising parents T K Suresh and Ranjini and elder brother Aswin.
PM praises Adithya
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Adithya and other winners of the Rashtriya Bal Puraskar on Tuesday. Modi later tweeted that he was proud of Adithya for displaying exemplary courage.
Smriti’s ‘butter naan’
On Tuesday, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani also met the Puraskar winners. When she asked Adithya what he wanted, the boy replied, “Butter naan.”
Subsequently, Smriti began addressing Adithya as ‘Butter naan’ and took him to a Bengali sweet shop in Delhi around 7 pm on Tuesday. Other Puraskar winners also joined them. Few people were aware of the trip along Delhi streets during which Smriti herself wielded Adithya’s wheelchair. At the shop, as butter naan was not available, Smriti bought all the children gulab jamun, jalebi and other sweets.