Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, State Culture Minister Sudhir Munganriwar and Dr. Dharmadhikari’s family members were also present. More than 20 lakh people from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat attended the ceremony. Seating arrangements for people were made in the open and there was no shade. People had to stay under open sky for more than 6 hours. Due to which many people were affected by the heat, 13 people died and more than 600 suffered heatstroke. An official said that those who reported heat problems during the program were immediately referred to 30 medical booths set up at the program venue.
An official said that 13 people have died so far and the death toll may rise as there was also a stampede at the venue where people were dying due to the heat and many were injured.
A resident of Kharghar said that the planning of the program was very bad. Some people were on this ground for two days. Millions of people sat unprotected under the scorching sun on Sunday afternoon. Social activist Rajeev Mishra said that people have died due to the clumsy planning of the government.
The Maharashtra Bhushan Award was started after the Shiv Sena-BJP coalition government came to power in the state in 1995. Initially, the award was given to people who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of literature, sports and science, but later it was also given to the fields of social work, journalism, public administration and health services.