New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind today conferred prestigious Padmashri award on three prominent personalities from Odisha among others at a civil investiture ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhawan today.
The three personalities are Kalama Pujari (Agriculture), D Prakash Rao (Social Work-Affordable Education) and Daitari Naik (Social Work).
Daitari Naik, known as the canal man of Odisha, came to limelight after he carved out a 3-km long canal from mountain stream to water the farm lands. The 70-year-old farmer had single-handedly carved out a three-kilometre canal from the Gonasika mountains so that the water stream could irrigate the parched land below. He had taken at least four years to complete the herculean task.
Similarly, D Prakash Rao of Cuttack, a tea vendor had hugged the headlines after Prime Minister met him and appreciated his effort of imparting education to slum children. He runs a school for the poor children with his own income from tea shop.
Likewise, Kamala Pujari, a tribal woman from Koraput district had become famous by preserving hundreds of local varieties of paddy and promoting organic farming. She is also known for having persuaded villagers in her area to shun chemical fertilisers and adopt organic farming for better harvest and soil fertility. The State government had appointed her the member of State Planning Board.
This year, 112 personalities were selected for the Padma awards, which was announced on the eve of Republic Day. The first set of padma award was given on 11th of this month in which Mr Kovind had presented one Padma Vibhushan, eight Padma Bhushan and forty-six Padma Shri Awards.