BHUBANESWAR: Three eminent personalities from Odisha have been chosen for this year’s prestigious Padma Shri awards for their contribution to the fields of cinema, performing arts and music. Actor-director Sadhu Meher, Odissi dancer Aruna Mohanty and singer of the popular Sambalpuri song ‘Rangabati’, Jitendra Haripal, have been selected to receive the Padma Shri Awards-2017. Odisha-born, Dr Mukut Minz, now based in Chandigarh, has also been selected for Padma Shri.
Although a delayed move, the veteran Sadhu Meher is happy that he has been chosen for the award. “I am delighted that my contribution to both Hindi and Odia cinemas has been recognised,” said Meher, who has acted in 38 Odia films and directed five __ ‘Abhimana’, ‘Aparichita’, ‘Abhilash’, ‘Gopa Re Badhhuchhi Kala Kanhei’ and ‘Babula’.
The 77-year-old artiste has also directed a Hindi film, ‘Yeh Jaan Meri Hai’. In fact, Meher began his acting career with Hindi films like ‘Bhuvan Shome’, ‘Ankur’ and ‘Mrigaya’ and then moved on to do Odia films.
He, however, is unhappy with the present set of actors in Ollywood. “There are two kinds of actors. Someone who loves to act and one who likes to see himself on the screen. Today’s actors in Odia film industry belong to the second category. They just wear make-up and fancy clothes to appear on screen but have no dedication to learn the nuances of acting,” he said.
For Aruna Mohanty, the award is a recognition of her contribution towards propagating Odissi across the country and abroad. “I am extremely happy that the country has recognised my efforts towards promoting and propagating this ancient dance form,” said the dancer, who dedicated the award to Guru Gangadhar Pradhan.
Talking to ‘Express,’ Haripal said he owed his success to his wife Mallika. He said the award will give a boost to folk song.
Dr Minz successfully undertook a kidney transplant surgery on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Minz is a native of Sundargarh district.
BHUBANESWARr: The Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) has decided to offer four of its certificate courses, including computer literacy programme, for free to family members of weavers of two western Odisha villages.
“It will help the weavers develop their skills under the government’s Unnat Bharat Abhiyan,” Ignou Bhubaneswar regional director Dr Abhilash Nayak said following the institution’s East Zone Directors’ Meet, which concluded here on Saturday.
He said the university has already selected two weaver villages – Kantapalli from Sonepur district and Sagarpalli from Bargarh district – and they would be trained regarding the best practices used in their field.
“The courses will also help them opt for the latest practices for enhancement of skills in weaving and designing clothes and dresses,” the regional director added.
“We will also connect the weavers with the government offices through information and communication technology (ICT). They will get an idea about the use of new technology for their betterment through our training,” Nayak explained.
He said his university has decided to provide four certificate courses to members of weavers family. The courses are – computer literacy programme (CLP), bachelor preparatory programme (BPP), NGO management and certificate course on entrepreneurship (CCE). BPP is a unique programme through which a school or college dropout can get a chance to directly enroll in a bachelors degree. The person will have to sit for an entrance test and upon clearing it can join the bachelors programme.
“Those who are interested in availing the benefits will have to enroll their names at their nearest Ignou study centre in both the districts. The certificate courses will be completed within six months,” said Nayak.
The university has also announced fee exemption for scheduled castes and scheduled tribe candidates in undergraduate programmes. “It will also translate subject matters from English to Odia for better understanding of students. These initiatives will also help the family members of weavers,” an Ignou source said. Regional directors of 12 Ignou regional centres functioning in Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand attended the two-day directors’ meet.
SAMBALPUR: None of the private nursing homes in Sambalpur is fire safety compliant and adhere the norms prescribed by the State Government last year.Only two private nursing homes out of 30 have applied for No Objection Certificate (NOC) for fire safety compliance.
In Balangir, none of the nursing homes is fire safety compliant, said Fire Officer Abani Kumar Swain. While all the hospitals have fire extinguishers, they do not work in absence of regular maintenance. Worse, medical staff are not trained to handle these facilities.
Secretary of Sambalpur Private Hospital and Nursing Home Association, Dr Purshottam Agrawal, said if the State Government decides to strictly implement the fire safety norms laid down by it last year, all the 1,770 private hospitals and nursing homes in the State will close down. The norms mandate sufficient space in a hospital/nursing home for movement of fire brigade, underground and overhead water tanks, installation of sprinklers and fitting of water hose to be run by generators. A majority of the private hospitals and nursing homes were constructed before 2015 and hence cannot adhere to the space norms, he added. Besides, leaving vacant space in crowded places like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela and Sambalpur is not feasible. He, however, admitted installation of hose pipes for supply of water in case of fire, underground and overhead tanks can be addressed by all.
The situation is equally grim in DHHs and VIMSAR, Burla. At the 1000-bed VIMSAR, fire extinguishers are only present in the ICU, Casualty Ward and five OTs. The hospital, however, is well ventilated.
The Sambalpur DHH, which has 268 beds, has no fire extinguishers or firefighting equipment. Surprisingly, Hospital Manager Sudip Kumar Dutta said they have sufficient extinguishers installed in the hospital, which also has several exit passages. “After SUM Hospital mishap, we have asked local fire officer to visit our hospital and suggest measures,” he added.
Even as the 165-bed Bhawanipatna DHH in Kalahandi district has 16 fire extinguishers, only one staff is trained to handle them. CDMO BK Brahma said more persons will be sent for training this year. ADMO (Medical) of 184-bed Balangir DHH, Daitari Sahu said there are 25 fire extinguishers and 15 security personnel have been trained in using them.
A large number of poor people from Nuapada, Kalahandi, Balangir, Sonepur and Bargarh districts are working as rickshaw puller and daily laborer in Raipur and other cities of Chatisgad. These people prefer to work in Raipur, and not in Bhubaneswar because of ease of language understanding.
The current Odisha government should try to resolve the Mahanadi issue by dialogue through proper channel. Unnecessary blocking of trains, and violent protests against Chatisgad will create problem for poor Koshali people living in Raipur and other cities.
CM Naveen Patnaik must resolve this matter with utmost care!