Throwback 2017: Newsmakers of the year
By Ashadeep Mohanty & Namita Kaisth
At the cusp of 2017 going by, as we gear up to herald another new year, here’s a look at the faces which have left an indelible mark on us and become history. While some were known personalities, many rose to limelight due to their efforts or circumstances.
Conjoined twins from Kandhamal Jaga and Kalia, who got separate identities following a marathon surgery at AIIMS, New Delhi hogged the headlines as much as received the prayers of an entire nation. Both Jaga and Kalia are on a recovery path. The plight of the twins was highlighted after OTV first broke the news about them a couple of months ago.
The senior BJD leader Damodar Rout known for his dare-a-damn attitude had to pay a big price just yesterday as CM Naveen Patnaik removed him from cabinet. On many occasions in the past too, Rout has invited the wrath of the party members and supremo by make ‘bold’ statements that contradict the party’s stand.
After seventeen years reign, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was adjudged as Best Administrator at the prestigious Outlook Speakout Awards-2017. Leaving behind his counterparts, including Nitish Kumar, Manik Sarkar, Mamata Banerjee, Devendra Fadnavis and Siddaramaiah, Patnaik became the Best Administrator in the country for his disaster management during natural calamities like Phailin and Hudhud. He received the award from former President Pranab Mukherjee at the Outlook Speakout award function in New Delhi in August this year.
Late senior Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra’s daughter Upasana Mohapatra’s debut in politics created a buzz in the state in the second half of the year. Hailing from Brahmagiri in Puri, Upasana joined BJP around a year after the sudden demise of her father. The young leader made a strong impression on her first day of joining the saffron party with her bold comments against Congress.
12-year-old Satyajeet Jena, who hails from Anandpur area in Keonjhar district, shot into limelight ever since he was seen in the famous singing reality show- Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs. He stole the hearts of jury members as well as all music lovers with his scintillating performance on the song Mile Ho Tum Humko in the audition round. Though Satyajit quit the show saying that his voice is undergoing a transformation, his soulful voice certainly earned quite some recognition for him.
Sabyasachi Satpathy also known as Shagoon, who was earlier known for hosting a cookery show on OTV, hogged the headlines this year after entering into popular TV reality show Bigg Boss Season 11. Though he survived in the Big Boss house for a short time, Satpathy, brother of former Ranji cricketer Jitu Satpathy, definitely left a lasting impression.
Odia girl Sonika Roy, 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.
Dipsan Tirkey & Amit Rohidas
Besides seasoned player Birendra Lakra, defenders Dipsan Tirkey and Amit Rohidas from Sundergarh grabbed the headlines after getting selected in the 18-member Indian squad for the men’s Hockey World League (HWL) Final held in Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in December 2017. Both were selected for the first time to play an international event in 2017 when they toured Belgium and Netherlands for the European tour in August.
Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda & Purnima Hembram
Sprinters duo Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda along with two other members of the Indian women’s relay team bagged bronze in the 4×100 m event at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships (AAC) held at Kalinga Stadium in July. Besides, Dutee clinched bronze in 100 mt sprint event. Similarly, Purnima Hembram won bronze in Women’s Heptathlon on the last day of the AAC.
Odisha born Justice Dipak Misra became the 45th Chief Justice of India succeeding Justice JS Khehar. Justice Mishra became the third Odia to be appointed to this prestigious position after Justice Ranganath Mishra and Justice Gopal Ballav Pattanaik. After taking charge, Mishra pronounced some historic verdicts like declaring triple talaq unconstitutional, convicting self-acclaimed spiritual Guru Ram Rahim of rape, recognizing right to privacy as a fundamental right among others.
At a time when farmer suicides continue to remain a burning issue in the state, Brunda Sahu’s suicide due to crop loss following pest attack triggered a fresh controversy in the state. Sahu committed suicide by consuming poison in Bargarh district on October 31 after setting fire to his standing crops cultivated on a half acre land.
Social activist Prafulla Samantara was awarded Goldman Environmental Prize for 2017 in the month of April. The 65-year-old man campaigned for 12 years to protect Dongria Kondh community of the state from losing their homestead land in Niyamgiri Hills to mining.
Making Odisha proud, Chandrakant Acharya of Cuttack was awarded with autumn term’s Sword of Honour after becoming the best performing cadet at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun this month. Earlier, Pratyush Mohanty had bagged the honour during the passing out parade in 2016.
31-year-old doctor Omkar Hota working at a public health centre (PHC) at Papulur in Malkangiri district set an example by reaching out to a pregnant woman himself to conduct the delivery. Not only that, the doctor along with some villagers carried the woman and her newborn on a cot and walked nearly eight kms to reach the nearest hospital for treatment after delivery.
Dharitri, a newborn girl of Jajpur district, was in the headlines for days as she was buried alive by her parents at Shyamasundarpur village in Jajpur district. Miraculously, she survived after being rescued in critical condition by local residents on March 25. The district administration adopted the newborn baby and named her Dharitri.