Non-resident Odias’ date with the late Queen

A native of Begalapur village in Jagatsinghpur district, Dr Das was the first Odia to receive the coveted award.

Published: 20th September 2022 04:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2022 04:10 AM   |  A+A-

Dr Das receiving the MBE from Queen Elizabeth-II in 1996

Dr Das receiving the MBE from Queen Elizabeth-II in 1996

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA:  Late Queen Elizabeth-II, during her 70-year-long reign, never visited Odisha but met and lauded several non-resident Odias in London. One of them, Dr Bhagabat Charan Das had the honour of receiving the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) from the queen in 1996.

A native of Begalapur village in Jagatsinghpur district, Dr Das was the first Odia to receive the coveted award, said noted writer and painter Prafulla Mohanti, Das’ brother-in-law. Dr Das left for England in 1959 for higher studies and worked in different hospitals for National Health Service and joined Hope Hospital at Manchester as a consultant in elderly care.

After retirement, he devoted himself to building the Social Centre for the Asian Elderly, a first of its kind institution in Europe. His wife, Adarmoni, a poet and author of several books in Odia helped her husband in establishing the centre. 

While Dr Das passed away in 2010,  his wife breather her last last year in England. Mohanty, from Nanpur village of Jajpur district too met and interacted with the queen. “I had the privilege of meeting the Queen thrice in London. I presented her my book ‘My village and Life’ around 30 years back.

In 1982, a painting exhibition was organised in London by artists of India and NRIs for the visit of the then President of India Giani Zail Singh. Some of my paintings were exhibited at the exhibition. Queen Elizabeth-II visited the exhibition and praised my  paintings. I gifted her three of my paintings,” said Mohanti over telephone from London.
 



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