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Somatirtha Purohit

Padma Shri awardee and centenarian teacher from Odisha, Nanda Prusty (fondly called Nanda Sir) passed away in a private hospital in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

“Nanda Prusty passed away at 1.28 pm,” informed authorities at the Sum Hospital in a statement.

He died at the age of 104.

Prusty, a resident of Kantira village in Sukinda block, had been admitted to a hospital in Kalinga Nagar area of Jajpur district on November 30 after he suddenly collapsed complaining of uneasiness. He tested positive for Covid at the hospital. His family later took him to the Jajpur district headquarters hospital and Tata Covid hospital for further treatment. 

However, when his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to the Sum Hospital in Bhubaneswar where he breathed his last today.
Prusty was honoured with the Padma Shri by the President of India last month for his over seven decade-long contributions in the field of education and social service.

Though Nanda Sir could study till Class 7 owing to his family’s poor financial condition, he continued imparting education to primary school students in his area at his 'Chatashali' free of cost.

Two days before hospitalisation, Nanda Sir had allegedly been threatened by some fellow villagers over a land dispute. His son had also been thrashed over the disagreement.

As per reports, the centenarian teacher’s son was stopped by a group of miscreants mid way while he was out to fetch medicines for the former. The miscreants then allegedly thrashed him and threatened to do the same with his father (Nanda Sir) if he did not mend ways.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise of Padma Shri Nanda Prusty. The PM took to Twitter and penned an emotional message which read: The much-respected “Nanda Sir” will be remembered for generations due to his efforts to spread the joys of education in Odisha. He drew the nation’s attention and affection a few weeks ago at the Padma Awards ceremony.

Similarly, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also expressed his deep sympathy over the death of the veteran educationist. 


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