Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Four famous personalities from Odisha were among the 44 persons who received the coveted Padma awards from President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Famous renal transplant surgeon Dr Mukut Minz, popular Sambalpuri singer of ‘Rangabati’ fame Jitendra Haripal, actor and director, producer Sadhu Meher and renowned Odissi danseuse Aruna Mohanty received the award from Mukherjee.

While Odisha-born Minz is a well known surgeon and has performed renal transplant surgery on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Mohanty is an Odissi dancer par excellence. Meher has worked with internationally-acclaimed directors Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Mrinal Sen and Tapan Sinha among others.

“It is definitely a proud moment for me. After working in this field for so many years, I feel that the work is finally recognised. But I would like to say the award is not important, the people who are committed in their respective fields should think that the public should get the maximum benefit from their work,” Minz told OTV.

Mohanty stated: “After finding myself among the renowned people around me at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, for a moment I couldn’t believe that I am also one among them who were conferred the awards. It is the claps in the audience that touched my heart and I am very happy. I would like to dedicate the award to my family, gurus, friends, the fraternity to which I belong and the people of Odisha.”

The President conferred Padma awards on 44 persons which included celebrities and unsung heroes who have worked for the society. Mukherjee also conferred Padma Vibhushan on mystic Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev and singer K J Yesudas while wife of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Sunder Lal Patwa received the award on his behalf.

The focus of this year's Padma awards, according to the officials in the Home Ministry, was on recognising talent of unknown and unsung heroes of the country.