Rashmi Rekha Das

The 10th edition of the illustrious Odisha Citizens Award (OCA) instituted by Odisha’s no-1 news channel OTV is back this year to honour personalities to recognize their contribution to society in their respective fields. The selection committee of OCA-2022 has short-listed four nominees in nine different categories.

Instituted by OTV, Odisha Citizens Award is a pioneer recognition conferred on personalities in recognition of their contribution to the society in fields of Agriculture, Art and Culture, Industry, Education, Entertainment, Social Service, Sports to Health Services and Politics. Here goes the list of nominees...

Udayanath Kar who quit his cushy mechanical engineering job to follow his passion which is farming has been nominated to receive the coveted award in agriculture category.  A mechanical engineer by qualification, but farmer at heart, Udayanath Kar from Silandi village under Bhadrak’s Bonth block has taken farming to a different level through application of his professional skills and training. In his 22-acre sprawling farmhouse Kar ensured that every inch of land is utilised fruitfully. Be it Kashmiri Apples, Guava and Napier grass or fish farming, poultry, vermin, or rabbits, his farmhouse is teeming with many innovative farming ideas. That apart, he is very much into pisciculture and goat rehearing. 

Besides, Jeypore-based Ram Prasad Gantayat from Koraput has also made into the list. Apart from paddy, he has been growing different breeds of mangoes on his 40-acre farmland. The types include Japan Miyazaki mangoes, Brazil mangoes and Thailand mangoes apart from Anna apple and Maharashtra guava.

Ex-army official Purusottam Panda has been nominated to get the Odisha Citizens Awards. He has grown Thailand apples, Kashmiri apples and other fruits on his 15-acre land without using fertilizers and chemicals.

Similarly,  Narayan Panda of Basudevpur has scripted a success story as a farmer after quitting his government job. He took up fishery in 1993 and dug a pond. Now, he owns 11 ponds and gets profit of Rs7-8 lakh. He has kept 40 cows and sells 50-60 litre milk every day. 

Art & Culture
Four persons have been nominated to be felicitated with Odisha Citizenship Award in the category of art and culture. 

Subhashree Mukherjee took the onus of reviving an ancient martial dance form—Chhau—native to Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. She has the credit of introducing women to the traditionally male-dominated dance form. Subhashree resumed training workshops for artists of Mayurbhanj Chhau Performing Unit. She launched a project called Chhauni in 2016. Through Project Chhauni, she has identified as many as 11,733 Chhau artistes.

Baladev Maharatha who is presently working as principal of BK College of Art and Crafts has also been nominated in art and culture category.  He has carved a niche in the field of literature and dance.  He is also known as an art educator, a painter, a poet and a visualiser.

Bijay Kumar Mohapatra, who heads the carpenters’ team working on the Nandighosha Rath of Lord Jagannath,  is another nominee for Odisha Citizens Awards in the category of art and culture. He has started making chariot with his father since 1972. Hailing from the Biswakarma sebayata family, Mohapatra was trained in the nuances of chariot construction since he was a kid. Following his father’s death in 2012, he became the chief carpenter of Nandighosh. But, that is not all about Mohapatra. He is an ace singer, trained in Hindustani and Odissi genres and performs every evening at the temple, other than the period of chariot construction. 

Satyanarayan Maharana, a sand artist of great repute, is another nominee in the art and culture category. His passion to create miniature chariots has brought laurel for him. He has previously held the title of Exclusive World Record by creating a chariot measuring 1mm, and another chariot that measured 1 cm was also recorded in the India Book of Records. He has multiple records for his original creations in the National Books of Records and Asia Book of Records.

Founder of Dream Hill Coffee Sushant Kumar Panda has been nominated under business category for the Odisha Citizens Awards. He has been growing Arabica variety of coffee beans and black pepper in Koraput on 30-acre land since 1996. 
Jagannath Enterprises is a leading manufacturer, supplier of incense sticks. It has made more than 4,000 women and youth self-reliant by providing them providing them vocational training. It was started with the investment of just Rs 30,000 but its annual turnover is Rs 2crore.  Jagannath Enterprises is being run by director Asish Mohanty and Managing Director Sangeeta Parida. Sangeeta Parida has been listed under business category of Odisha Citizens Awards.

Saroja Chaudhury has set a place in a male-dominated culinary business industry. With her customers ranging from Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb to star couple Ajay Devgn and Kajol, Saroja has created a niche for herself in the hearts of foodies across the country. Launched in 2020, her Rosy’s Kitchen has put the signature Odia cuisine on the global food map as her dishes are flown abroad too. She has been nominated for the award under business category. 

Jeypore-based businessman Subas Rout has been listed for Odisha Citizens Awards under business category. Founder of SRCD Infra Projects Private Limited, Subas started business by launching an apartment project in 2011.  He set up first mall in South Odisha. Besides, he has the credit of opening biggest food court in Koraput. He has made 200 people self independent through his project. Once a tea seller, his annual income is now Rs 10-12 crore.

Renowned choreographer-cum-comedian Shyamalendu Bhattacharya has been listed for Odisha Citizens Awards under entertainment category. He had made way into the hearts of Odia cine lovers as an actor par excellence owing to his comic timing.  Also a recipient of the Best Actor award from former Prime Minister Late Jawaharlal Nehru in 1960, he has acted in more than 50 films which includes Jajabara, Nagafasha, Tapoi, Mamata, Maa O Mamata, Kie Kahara, AkhayaTrutia, Sri Jagannath and Jhilimili among others.

Manoj Patnaik, eminent theatre artiste and founder of Manana Natya Sanstha, is another nominee for Odisha Citizens Awards under entertainment category for the year 2022. He has directed more than 200 plays and 100 jatras. He has been felicitated with special jury award for his acting in the tele film Phata Kapala under Sadhu Meher direction. Besides, he has also been honoured by Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. 

Popular singer Gita Das has been nominated for Odisha Citizens Award for the same category. Gita started her musical career in 1977.  She came to limelight after rendering her voice to suprehit songs directed by Balakrushna Das, Rakhal Mohanty, Akshay Mohanty and Prafulla Kar. She has sung for more than 150 films in between 1981 and 2005. She is also a recipient of Odisha Sangeeta Nataka Akademi Award.

Also, Music director Mohammad Musir has been listed for the honour. He had started his career as a singer from All India Radio. Later, he established himself music composer. He got the chance of working as a music director in 1978.  He has carved a special place for himself by giving music direction in movies like Sahari Bagha, Bada Bhauja, Basnti Apa and Hisaba Kariba Kalia among many. Besides, he has given directions to more than 4,000 bhajans, Odia gajals and albums.

Doctors Sujata Kar, Venket Rao, Prashant Kumar Sahoo and Nisitha Kumar Mohanty have been nominated for Odisha Citizens Award under Health Category for their immense contribution in the health category.

Former Minister Bhakta Charan Das, BJP leader Bishweswar Tudu, BJP leader Mohan Charan Majhi and Congress MLA Mohammed Moquim have been nominated for Odisha Citizens Award under politics category.

Social service
Anushree Dash, Narayani Panda, Radhakanta Tripathy and Sachindra Behera have been listed for the coveted award under social service category.

Jayanti Behera, Siddharth Routray, Sneha Soren and Swetaparna Panda are the nominees to receive the coveted award under sports category.

The jury will finalise one out of four candidates from each category. The final selection of winners will be made after considering the results of online voting.