By Namita Panda and Siddharth Roshan
2017 started on a great note for Odisha as four of its popular names were among the list of Padma award recipients announced in January. Odias kept garnering honours in various fields like films, literature, entertainment and fashion throughout the year. While singing sensation Satyajit Jena, who captivated the nation for many months together, was the most popular name in this field in 2017, many more scripted their claim to fame.
Four Odias received Padma awards:
Four famous personalities from Odisha were among the 44 persons who received the coveted Padma awards from President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan in April. Famous renal transplant surgeon Dr Mukut Minz, popular Sambalpuri singer of ‘Rangabati’ fame Jitendra Haripal, actor, director and producer Sadhu Meher and renowned Odissi danseuse Aruna Mohanty received the award from Mukherjee.
National Film Awards for Odias:
Four filmmakers from Odisha received the 64th National Film Awards in May in New Delhi including Nilamadhab Panda, Lipika Singh Darai, Shibu Prusty and Sankhajeet De. Nilamadhab’s ‘Kadvi Hawa’ received a ‘Special Mention’ from the 64th National Film Awards jury while Darai’s 20-minute English film ‘The Waterfall’ was adjudged the Best Educational Film. Filmmakers Prusty and De won the Best Arts/Culture Film awards for their Odia documentary feature films that deal with Jagannath Culture and Shadow Puppetry of Odisha, respectively.
Litterateurs who won honours this year:
The prestigious Kendra Sahitya Akademi Awards were announced in December for two Odia litterateurs Gayatri Saraf and Suryamani Khuntia for 2017. Saraf’s short story collection ‘Itabhatira Silpi’ and Khuntia’s translation work ‘Juganta’ have been chosen for the coveted literary award. Earlier this year, noted litterateur Suryasnat Tripathy won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar award-2017 for his book ‘E Samparka Emiti’ while Subhendra Mohan Srichandan Singh won the Bal Sahitya Puraskar-2017 for his contribution to children’s literature. Monalisa Jena received the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize 2016 for her translation work ‘Ashirbadara Ranga.’
Satyajit Jena from Keonjhar captured the heart of millions of Odias and people all over the world with his unique voice and singing charm in ZEE TVs SaReGaMaPa Lil Champs. The 12-year old regularly emerged the winner of most public votes and even after quitting the show midway, the wonder kid made his debut in Bollywood by recording a song with pop queen Sunidhi Chouhan and music director Shankar Mahadevan. Even legend AR Rahman praised his singing style. Meanwhile, singer Chelsea from Cuttack and dancer Jyoti Ranjan Sahu from Bhubaneswar also garnered praises on reality talent shows. Sabyasachi Satapathy from Odisha made it big with a ticket to the Bigg Boss house. Though he got eliminated later, he became popular among fans of the reality show for his friendly and honest nature.
Names that made a mark:
Some names from the State made it big this year with their achievements in the field of films and fashion. Odia boy Sattwik Mohanty made his Bollywood debut as the director of Ranchi Diaries starring veteran actor Anupam Kher. Similarly, Sonika Ray, the Femina Miss India finalist and winner of Miss India Asia Pacific International 2017, represented India in Miss Asia Pacific International 2017 held in Philippines in November. She won two titles–Miss Zanea Online and People’s Choice.
The prestigious Jayadev Award was conferred upon the legendary singer Pranab Patnaik during the State Film Awards this year by the Culture Department. The octogenarian is known for his immortal voice in songs like ‘Majhi re…’ Similarly, in the field of literature, Odia poet Rabi Singh has been named the winner of the prestigious Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman instituted by the Odisha Sahitya Akademi, for the year 2017.