In what can be seen as a matter of great pride for every Odia, four eminent personalities from the State have been shortlisted for the conferment of 2023 Padma Awards. These distinguished persons who are going to receive the Padma Shri award are Krishna Patel, a singer; Maguni Charan Kuanr, a puppeteer; Antaryami Mishra, a litterateur and Pattayat Sahu, a farmer.
Krishna Patel along with Jitendriya Haripal lent her voice to Rangabati, an epoch-making Sambalpuri folk song. This song is still popular among music lovers in and outside the nation.
While Haripal and Mitrabhanu Gountia, who penned the iconic song, were conferred Padma Shri in 2017 and 2020 respectively, its singer Krishna Patel will receive the prestigious award this year. The sixty five-year-old Patel has crooned over 500 songs.
In her reaction, Patel said, “Many many thanks to the Central government, the State government and the people.”
Eighty five-year-old Maguni Charan Kuanr of Keonjhar district will be felicitated with the prestigious Padma Shri for devoting his life to preserving a dying art like puppet dance. He has as many as 45 subjects to perform using his puppets. He has travelled across the State to stage his show. He was happy after hearing the good news.
“I was staging puppet shows secretly. When I visited New Delhi in 1972 and received a certificate from V V Giri, then my family members were happy and allowed me to go ahead with my passion. And I have since been staging shows,” said Kuanr.
Pattayat Sahu of Nandol village under Junagarh block is a known figure in Kalahandi district. He has grown over 2,500 medicinal plants in his backyard. He has been creating awareness among the people regarding the benefits of medicinal plants. Because of such exemplary work, he was also featured in Prime Minister’s Mann Ki Baat programme.
“My focus is to save those trees that are on the verge of extinction. My demand is to declare Odisha a herbal State and Kalahandi as herbal district,” said Sahu.
Litterateur Pandit Antaryami Mishra of Dhenkanal district is a columnist, astrologer and researcher, all rolled into one. While he has been contributing to the research in Odia language, grammar and culture for the last five decades, he has authored 37 books. Many of his literary works have found places in textbooks.
“I consider the award belongs to the Odias. I had never thought of getting this award. I have been busy with my ‘sadhana’ for the last 54 years. My most valuable asset is the blessings of Lord Jagannath and lakhs of listeners and readers,” said Mishra.
This year, as many as 106 noted personalities have been shortlisted for Padma Awards. Of them, Padma Vibhushan will be conferred on six, Padma Bhushan on nine and Padma Shri Awards will be awarded to 91 personalities.
(Reported by OTV Bureau )