This year’s Padma Shri award winners from Odisha – filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda, Kosali poet Haldhar Nag and textile designer Sribhas Chandra Supakar received the prestigious award from President Pranab Mukherjee today at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
For the 42-year-old Nila Madhab Panda, who is known for films such as I Am Kalam and Jalpari, the award will prove to be an inspiration to do better work. “I am humbled and accept it as an honour from my motherland. Now, it is my time to give back to the society and the country,” he said.
On the other hand, the 65-year-old Koshali poet and writer Haladhar Nag has carved a niche for himself in the literary field. Impressed by his poetry, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had filmed a documentary on his life and works. “I am personally happy for being selected to get Padma Shri award. But, this award is a matter of great pleasure not for me only, but for the Koshal soil and Koshali language,” an elated Nag said.
Besides, Sribhas Chandra Supakar, originally from Sambalpur who has settled in Uttar Pradesh, will also be honoured with the Padma Shri in the field of Textile Designing. From faraway Varanasi, Supakar said: “I am working on Benaras handloom, but I want to merge Odisha fabrics with it and create a fusion.”
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were the Vice President of India, Prime Minister, Union Ministers of Home Affairs, Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Human Resource Development.