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Jaydev Award to Sriram Panda

Sriram Panda was chosen for the Jaydev Award that will be given to him at the 23rd state film awards function on November 25. On Thursday, the state govt decided to honour this brilliant actor, who ruled the Odia film industry and hearts of the audience in the 70s and 80s.

Sriram Panda started his film career in Dhir Biswal’s Dharitri directed by Nitai Palit in 1972, which was a great success at that time. He has acted in over 35 films as lead actor and has also produced and directed a film ‘Kurukshetra’ in 1991. In 1992, at the peak of his career, he quit the film industry to join the Bihar School of Yoga at Munger, Bihar, India as a Yoga preacher and renamed himself as Swami Nitya Chaitanya.

During his early career, he did modeling assignments and promotions for Cavender’s Cigarettes and was known for his onscreen smoking scenes which inspired many youths to smoke. Later in life, he regretted those assignments and scenes and despised them, and to atone for them he quit acting in Oriya cinema and became a monk. “Sriram Panda was regarded as the Rajesh Khanna of Odisha. Youths of 80s emulated his style and attitude. He started his career much before Uttam Mohanty and Maheswata,” said Dillip Hali, jury member and film critic.
Jaydev Award to Sriram Panda
“Sriram Panda’s contribution to the Odia film industry is significant as he was probably the first superstar and he set the trend of megastars in Odisha. He was an accomplished actor, director and producer. So the jury members selected him for the prestigious honour,” said Sushil Kumar Das, director of culture department.

Jaydev Award is given for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Odia cinema and consists of a certificate of honour and cash prize of Rs one lakh. The actor-turned-saint now known as Swami Nitya Chaitanya has consented to attend the function. “I am really happy for him (Sriram). Finally his contribution to the Odia film industry was recognized,” said Panda’s wife and former actor Tripura Mishra.

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