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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: When Kamala Pujari, the woman farmer of Patraputa in Koraput district and member of the Odisha Planning Board, inaugurated the Ratri Aahar Kendra at the Jeypore District Headquarters Hospital Monday night following an invitation from the administration, it became evident that the efforts of OTV did not go in vain.

On December 29 (Saturday), OTV telecast a report on the alleged ignorance of the State Government towards Kamala who was forgotten  after being invited to attend a foundation stone laying ceremony for the OUAT’s new ladies hostel building named after her way back in March 2017. Not only this, it was also alleged that the administration had breached protocols by not inviting or involving her in any of the government programmes that are being carried out in the district.

Asked whether she was called to a programme organised in Jeypore on December 28, she said, "I haven't heard of any meeting. If I would have been aware, I would have attended."

Surprisingly, the event was graced by local politicians including Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati and another member of the Planning Board, but Kamala got no invitation from the District Urban Development Authority.

However, a day after OTV telecast this report, Kamala was specially invited to inaugurate the Aahar centre at the DHH on Monday.

Extremely happy, she said, “Earlier I wasn’t being called but finally they called me and I came to inaugurate this.”

Madhumita Nayak, Project Administrator of the District Urban Development Agency, said, "Her (Kamala) presence made us very proud and being so high in position, it was nice to see her serve food to all. It was like a mother serving her kids."

It may be mentioned here that Odisha CM Naveen Odisha launched the state-wide night meal facility- Ratri Aahaar from Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar yesterday. The scheme aims to provide affordable meals at night near 56 Government hospitals in urban centres across Odisha and the extension program is likely to serve healthy and tasty cooked meals to 15,765 people every night.

Kamala Pujari had brought laurels for Odisha by winning the ‘Equator Initiative Award’ in Johannesburg of South Africa in 2002 for preserving hundreds of local varieties of paddy and promoting organic farming.


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