UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Indian wife, Akshata Murty, are the “proud” son-in-law and daughter of author and philanthropist Sudha Murty – who was conferred the Padma Bhushan at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
Akshata Murty was present at the ceremony in New Delhi last week and later took to social media to express her emotions towards her mother Sudha Murty and father Narayana Murthy, co-founder of software services major Infosys. Sunak also replied to his wife’s post with the words “a proud day”.
Akshata posted: “I watched with unspeakable pride as my mother received the Padma Bhushan from the President of India. On #IWD [International Women’s Day] last month, I reflected on my mother’s extraordinary journey, from STEM to storytelling, but her charitable and volunteering efforts have served as her greatest inspiration to me.
“Always asking if she can be doing more, she has given back to her community countless times: founding and running a series of philanthropic organisations for 25 years; funding numerous literacy initiatives; and jumping into action to aid those most in need – many in the most remote parts of India – after natural disasters have destroyed their lives.
“My mother doesn’t live for recognition. The values my parents have instilled in my brother and me – hard work, humility, selflessness – mean she is always on to the next thing. But it was such a moving experience to see her have a moment of recognition.”
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The UK’s First Lady added that it was her mother's example has helped put “volunteering, learning and listening” at the heart of how she hopes to live at 10 Downing Street.
Her unassuming presence at the glittering awards ceremony in India has since gone viral on social media, as it emerged how the elegantly simply dressed businesswoman sat without any fuss with her parents somewhere in the midst of the gathering before being moved to the front row besides Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, as per protocol.
In her acceptance speech at the ceremony, Sudha Murty thanked the people of India for their unconditional support.
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“I owe this award to the people of India. I hope my recognition today inspires the younger generation to take up social welfare as a vocation. It is needed for the continuous development of our great nation. I always feel that the generosity of a few gives hope for a million,” she said.