Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Ministry of Home Affairs announced the Padma Awards for 2024 on the eve of Republic Day on Thursday. Four persons from Odisha were conferred Padma Shri for their distinguished service in their respective fields.

Gopinath Swain, Bhagbat Padhan, Binod Maharana, and Binod Kumar Pasayat from Odisha will receive the Padma Shri. The awards will be conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which will be held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March / April. 

Gopinath Swain, the 105-year-old artist from Ganjam district, who has been performing Krishna Leela for over 9 decades will receive Padma Shri in recognition for dedicating his life to preserve and promote the tradition. Creating a bridge between past and present, he sang and taught five ancient ragas such as Dakhinasri, Chinta Desakhya, Todi Bhatiari, Bhatiari, and Kumbha Kamodi. Besides, Swain has set up Akhadas (traditional village schools) and imparted his knowledge to hundreds of disciples. 

Bhagabat Padhan, an exponent of Sabda Nrutya folk dance from Bargarh was chosen for the prestigious award for 'expanding the scope of Sabda Nrutya dance to wider platforms and imparting training to diverse groups in the art.”

Eighty-five-year-old Padhan has dedicated over five decades of his life to preserve and popularise the art that is linked to the dance of Mahadev. His lifelong efforts contributed significantly in sustaining this dance form. Padhan started his career as a teacher in a Lower Primary School in the 1960s and has trained more than 600 dancers.