Padma Awards are one of the most sought after civilian awards of the country. Each year the Padma Award Committee, constituted by the Prime Minister, selects invaluable jewels from different fields, scouring through many nominations.
It is no ordinary feat to receive one of these prestigious awards as there is rigorous scrutiny to select the best in their respective fields. Despite these challenges, 6 Odias etched their name in history by being the recipient of this tremendous honor.
Padma Vibushan: Sudarshan Sahoo (Art)
Hailing from the holy city Puri, Sculptor Shri Sudarshan Sahoo is one of the famous Odia personalities of Odisha who is known worldwide. In 1977, he established the Sudarshan Crafts Museum in Puri to offer many art connoisseurs the opportunity to see the various forms and sculptures evolution.
In 1991, he started Sudarshan Art & Crafts Village in Bhubaneswar, which brought back the long lost tradition of Gurukuls learning style with government help. Many skilled, budding artisans learned the art from him. His legacy is truly honored by selecting him for the distinguished Padma Vibhushan in the field of art.
Padma Shri: Dr. Rajat Kumar Kar (Literature)
86 year old notable culture specialist Dr. Rajat Kumar Kar is the oldest and longest active commentator of the world-famous Lord Jagannaths Rath Yatra. For the last sixty-one years, Dr. Kar holds this unique record of commenting on both TV and radio about the Rath Yatra. Dr. Rajat is receiving Padma Shri in the field of Literature.
Padma Shri: Nanda Prusty (Education)
Known as Nanda Mastre by his beloved students and villagers, Nanda Prusty is on a mission to eradicate illiteracy. The 100-year old teacher with schooling just till 7th grade has been teaching children and elders of Kantira, Jajpur, and nearby villages for 75+ years. A true deserver of the esteemed award in the field of education.
Padma Shri: Shanti Devi (Social Work)
Shanti Devi has dedicated her life to rehabilitating orphans and needy children of the Maoist militants affected areas of Odisha. The 86-year old leads a voluntary body called Seva Samaj which helps children receive education and vocational training in many Koraput and Balasore places. Shanti Devi works hard towards Odisha tribal culture by empowering tribal women. she runs various orphanages, hostels for girls, and various welfare centers in Gajapati and Rayagada District. She gets the reputed civilian honor in the field of social work.
Padma Shri: Purnamasi Jani (Art)
Tribal poet and singer for the Kandhamal district, Purnamasi Jani, has sung over Ten Thousand devotional songs! This feat has earned her the title of Tadisaru Bai among the locals. Many of her works are recorded by literary societies while she makes a modest living by stitching sal leaves.
Padma Shri: Dr. Krushna Mohan Padhi (Medicine)
Berhampur based Orthopedician Dr. Krushna Mohan Padhi has been treating poor and tribal people of Ganjam free of cost for the last 3 decades. After working in The UK, he returned to Odisha and set up a charitable trust: Bharadwaj Gurukul Ashram, and provides free health care services to the locals. It is a matter of pride and privilege for Odisha to get recognition at the national level, and we congratulate these dignitaries for their outstanding achievements.