Pradeep Singh

New Delhi: Three personalities with exceptional achievements from Odisha - D Prakash Rao, Daitari Naik and Kamala Pujari received the coveted Padma Shri from the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind at 2019 Civil Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

While Rao bagged the award for providing affordable education to slum children, Naik and Pujari were felicitated with the country's fourth highest civilian award for their remarkable contribution in the fields of social work and agriculture respectively.

Rao, who runs a tea stall in Cuttack, has been working tirelessly towards providing education to slum children through his primary school called ‘Asha o Aswasana’ in Cuttack.

Daitari Naik of Keonjhar also received the Padma Shri for his social work. He had single-handedly carved out a 3-km-long canal from a mountain stream to water his agricultural fields.

Kamala Pujari, a tribal woman from Koraput, who has the distinction of presently being a member of the Odisha Planning Board, was also conferred the Padma Shri for her commendable job in preserving indigenous paddy variety.

"Congratulations to the living legends of Odisha Sh. D Prakash Rao,Sh. Daitari Nayak & Ms. Kamala Pujari on being honoured with the Padma Awards. Their contribution towards the education of poor, agriculture & social work,is truly commendable and a source of inspiration for all," tweeted Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Official sources said 112 personalities were earlier selected for the Padma awards, which were announced on the eve of Republic Day this year.

In the first set of Padma awards given on March 11, President Ram Nath Kovind had presented one Padma Vibhushan, eight Padma Bhushan and 46 Padma Shri Awards.