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Four Odisha unsung heroes awarded Padma Shri

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Four Odisha unsung heroes awarded Padma Shri

Bhubaneswar, Jan 26 (IANS) Four unsung heroes of Odisha including the 105-year-old Krishna Leela Bhajan singer have been selected for the prestigious Padma Shri awards for 2024.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced the list of Padma awardees including five Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 110 Padma Shri Award winners on Thursday.

The centenarian traditional Krishna Leela singer, Gopinath Swain from Ganjam, the 85-year-old Sabda Nrutya folk dancer, Bhagabat Padhan from Bargarh district, Sambalpuri folk lyricist, and poet, Binod Kumar Pasayat and the master Pattachitra folk Painter, Binod Maharana from Khordha have been selected to get the Padma Shri award for distinguished services in their respective fields.

The Krishna Leela singer Swain dedicated his life to preserve and promote the dying tradition of krishna bhajans in Ganjam and other areas of the southern part of the state for the last nine decades.

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His commitment to traditional techniques and improvisational methods breathed life into Krishna Leela. He sang and taught five ancient ragas – Dakhinasri, Chinta Desakhya, Todi Bhatiari, Bhatiari, Kumbha Kamodi. He also established several Akhadas (traditional village schools) and imparted the knowledge to hundreds of disciples in different villages of southern Odisha and adjoining Andhra Pradesh.

Similarly, folk dancer Padhan is considered as the exponent of Sabda Nrutya folk dance form. He dedicated over five decades of his life to preserve and popularise the art which is considered the dance of Mahadev.

Padhan also trained more than 600 dancers in this dance form. He worked as a Lower Primary School teacher during the 1960s.

Meanwhile, the 87-year-old noted Sambalpuri folk lyricist, Pasayat who has written several popular songs in Sambalpuri language thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for selecting him for the Padma Shri award.

Speaking to media persons, 78-year-old Patachitra painter, Maharana said, “I received a call from New Delhi last night in this regard. I will receive the award on behalf of the traditional painters of the state.”

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