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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Social activist and Padma awardee Kamala Pujari has been shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU) from the casualty ward of SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack as her condition worsened on Wednesday.

Earlier on August 21, Pujari was shifted to SCB from the district headquarters hospital in Koraput in a critical condition. She was brought to the hospital by a woman health worker from Patraput in an ambulance.

The SCB authorities have formed a special team of doctors for the treatment of Pujari who is suffering from kidney-related ailments.

The tribal woman from Koraput was conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 2019 for reserving hundreds of indigenous species of paddy. Apart from collecting several endangered and rare types of crop seeds including paddy, turmeric, til and black cumin, Pujari also popularised organic farming in Koraput.

Her passionate initiatives to preserve traditional rice varieties in the tribal heartland were first recognised by the Swaminathan Commission. She had won the Equator of Initiative Award in 2002 at Johannesburg. The Odisha government had honored her as the best woman farmer in 2004. She has also been awarded by the national award ‘Krusi Bisarada Samman’ in New Delhi.

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