Odisha Citizens Award celebrates inspiring sagas from varied fields

Bhubaneswar: It’s always a daunting task to compile a comprehensive list of achievers from varied fields as any such endeavour may not be able to incorporate all the trailblazers who deserve recognition. The yardstick devised to include deserving names in the list of nominations thus assumes crucial importance.  Credibility and fairness have been twin pillars upon which the Odisha Television (OTV) edifice has been built over the years. And the same credo continues to guide the Odisha Citizens Award (OCA) in choosing the unique achievers through a fair and transparent selection process.
The Odisha Citizens Award was launched in 2012 and it has already struck a chord with the people. The second edition of OCA honoured individuals and organisations from eight different fields. The eight winners of OCA 2013 are: Dr Ashok Mohapatra (education), Govinda Patnaik (social service), Dinanath Pathy (art and culture), Dharmendra Pradhan (politics), Aparajita Mohanty (entertainment), Omfed (business), Khetrabasi Behera (agriculture) and Debasish Das (sports).
In her address, OTV managing director and co-founder Jagi Mangat Panda explained the core objectives of the OCA. On the rationale behind the OCA, Mrs Panda said, “OCA was started last year with the objective of recognising and encouraging people who have worked for the betterment of the society and the state. We believe any work, when done with passion and dedication, will eventually lead to the betterment of the society and the state.
Obviously, these people are self-motivated and do not need us to motivate them. But surely, they deserve to be recognized”.
In his keynote address, Odisha Governor Dr SC Jamir who graced the occasion as chief guest said, “It is heartening to know that though only into the second year of its inception, OCA by recognising illustrious people and their unparalleled contribution in their chosen fields, has been able to create a distinct identity for itself. The awards confirm that innovative ideas and actions are available for the betterment of the society and the nation. The awards given in eight categories of sports, business, education, art & culture, entertainment and agriculture besides politics and social services exemplify OTV's commitment to excellence. The awards function is not only a time for celebration, it is a celebration of the commitment, dedication and hardwork put in by the awardees for which they are being recognized”.
OTV has launched many novel initiatives in the recent past to fulfill its social responsibilities to recognize the contribution of individuals and organisations to society. Many of these heroes in our society work with a messianic zeal. They work tirelessly without hogging any limelight. Many of them do not crave for any recognition or awards. Many of these intrepid personalities have braved many odds to script a new chapter for themselves and others. Many of them have traversed tortuous journeys to excel in their respective fields.  Some of them have made a difference to the lives of others who are fending for themselves.
They have kept our traditional art alive, expanded benefits of agriculture to newer areas, built unique institutions, left their indelible imprint on state and national politics, brought laurels to the state in sports and mesmerized viewers with their acting skills. From humble beginnings, these personalities have set new examples for others. They may not yearn for recognition, but their heroic journeys should not be lost in obscurity.
To honour these famous personalities and some unsung heroes, OTV has started the Odisha Citizens Award in 2012. Many of our well-wishers have raised very pertinent questions on why we need to honour some ‘famous’ personalities. They have questioned whether honouring the famous personalities serves any purpose. But the struggle to attain success by some of these leading personalities need to be told to the society so that they can inspire others in similar situations.
Our task to select the nominees has been made easier as a distinguished panel of jury members choose the final list of four nominees in each field before the names are put to vote. In the selection process, there is no scope for any subjective preference as the jury members play a pivotal role. After the jury selection, the names are put to vote.
OTV has strenuously built an impeccable reputation for fair and credible news, thanks to the highest professional standards followed by Team OTV.  Odisha Citizens Award should be judged by the same yardstick of fairness and credibility.