Two Odias conferred Padma Shri by President

Two more unsung heroes of the state who were chosen for the Padma Shri-2024 are 85-year-old Bhagabat Pradhan and 78-year-old Shilpi Guru Binod Kumar Maharana.
Gopinath Swain was chosen for the Padma award for his contribution towards the preservation and promotion of Krishna Leela.
Gopinath Swain was chosen for the Padma award for his contribution towards the preservation and promotion of Krishna Leela. Photo |Express

BHUBANESWAR : Two unsung heroes from Odisha, Gopinath Swain and Binod Kumar Pasayat, were conferred Padma Shri by President of India Droupadi Murmu at Civil Investiture Ceremony-1 at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Monday.

Centanarian Gopinath hails from Govindapur village in Sheragada block of Ganjam and was chosen for the Padma award - the fourth-highest civilian award of the country - for his contribution towards preservation and promotion of Krishna Leela. He has been doing so for the last nine decades of his life. “I feel my years of dedication towards Krishna Leela has finally borne fruit. I am glad that the government recognised my contribution towards this form of art and honoured me with such award” he said on receiving the award. His age, notwithstanding, Gopinath continues to train youngsters in Krishna Leela even today.

Binod Kumar Pasayat

For Pasayat, Sambalpur’s renowned lyricist, playwright and poet, the award from the President was his biggest dream come true. Formerly, a barber by profession, he has been writing for the last seven decades including songs for All India Radio. “My writing may have slowed down because of my age but my zeal for Sambalpuri language is forever. Getting an award at this age can be an exhilarating experience for anyone. I am no different,” he said with a smile.

Two more unsung heroes of the state who were chosen for the Padma Shri-2024 are 85-year-old Bhagabat Pradhan and 78-year-old Shilpi Guru Binod Kumar Maharana. Pradhan from Kumbhari village in Bargarh has dedicated over five decades of his life to preserve and popularise Sabda Nrutya. Maharana is a master painter and Pattachitra artist based in Bhubaneswar. He is a recipient of National Award (All India Handicrafts Board, New Delhi in 1974), Viswakarma Citation in 1983, State Lalit Kala Akademi, 1983, and Dharmapada award in 2019.

Sources said Maharana and Pradhan will be conferred the awards at Civil Investiture Ceremony-2 scheduled next week. In 2023, the Padma awards were given away in two ceremonies, first on March 23 and second on April 5, 2023. However, the ongoing elections have delayed the schedule of the awards this year.

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