Dilip Mahalanabis, pioneer in the use of ORS, is awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award.
The government said in a statement on the eve of the 74th Republic Day that Mr Mahalanabis’s efforts have led to widespread use of the oral rehydration system, or ORS, which is “estimated to have saved more than five crore lives worldwide “.
Mr Mahalanabis, 87, who died last October, was a resident of West Bengal.
ORS is a simple, cheap but effective ingenious solution, which has seen the world reduce deaths from diarrhea, cholera and dehydration by 93 percent, especially in infants and children.
The government said he demonstrated ORS’s effectiveness when he served in refugee camps during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War after returning from the US to serve.
The others are Ratan Chandra Kar, a retired Andaman government doctor; Hirabai Lobi, a social worker from the Siddi tribe; Munishwar Chander Dawar, a war veteran and doctor from Jabalpur; Ramkuiwangbe Newme, a Naga social worker; VP Appukuttan Poduval, a freedom fighter from Payyanur; Sankurathri Chandra Sekhar, a social worker from Kakinada; Vadivel Gopal and Masi Sadaiyan, expert snake catchers from the Irula tribe; Tula Ram Upreti, a 98-year-old subsistence smallholder; Nekram Sharma, an organic farmer from Mandi; Janum Singh Soy, a tribal Ho language scholar; Dhaniram Toto, a Toto (Dengka) language protector; Among others, B Ramakrishna Reddy, an 80-year-old professor of linguistics from Telangana.