Former Indian International footballer Brahmanand Shankwalkar and spiritual guru Sadguru Brahmeshanand Acharya Swami are among the Goans who will be honoured with the Padma Shri award, the Home Ministry announced on Tuesday ahead of the 73rd Republic Day.
Brahmanand is known as one of the finest goalkeepers ever to grace the Indian football team. Born on March 6, 1954, in Taleigao, he fell in love with the lovely game of football at a very tender age after listening to stories from his father Seguna Sankhwalkar and their family doctor Alvaro Pinto.
Brahmanand began his professional career in football at the Panvel Sports Club in 1971. After his brilliant performances at the club level, Brahmanand was first picked for the national side in 1975.
Following India’s successful Zambia Goodwill tour, he was given the nickname “Leopard”. Brahmanand was made captain of the Indian team ahead of the 1983 Nehru Cup and led the team until 1986. He finished his international with over 50 caps for the Blue Tigers.
Sadguru Brahmeshanand Acharya Swami of Shree Datta Padhmanabh Peeth, Shree Kshetra Tapobhoomi, Kundaim, Ponda, is a globally revered spiritual leader, instrumental in establishing peace in the world.
A social reformer and an interfaith speaker dedicated to reforming the social strata with progressive and harmonious changes, Brahmeshanand is the patron of various international organisations viz Global Yog Alliance, International Film and Television Club New Delhi, World Peace Development &
Research Foundation, Youth Chambers of Commerce Dubai etc. serving humanity in different parts of the world.
Significant contributions of Brahmeshanand are acknowledged by various global institutions and he has been awarded for the same. Ambassador of Peace at British Parliament, International Peace Promoter by Mahabodhi Society Srilanka, Messenger of Love by World Yoga Community, New York USA, Spiritual Ambassador of the year by Bharat Nirman Foundation Nepal, Mother Teresa Lifetime Achievement Award by Mother Teresa University, Malaysia are a few of the accolades and titles bestowed upon the swamiji.