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.
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.
ROURKELA: Amid shortage of doctors, modern healthcare services in Sundargarh District Headquarters Hospital (SDHH) and peripheral health institutions across the district are in a shambles.
Hope for improvement remains a distant possibility in the wake of the State itself facing 50 per cent vacancies in doctors’ posts.
Administrative sources said about 85 periphery health institutions, including three sub-divisional hospitals, a number of Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the district are being managed with about 140 existing doctors against the sanctioned post of 212. This leaves 72 posts vacant. At least 21 of the 140 doctors are learnt to have got promotion and 15 are likely to go out of the district soon.
Various CHCs have only one doctor against the minimum requirement of three, while a host of PHCs in far-flung areas have no doctor and are in a miserable condition. Pharmacists run the show in most of the PHCs like at Hathibari in Nuagaon block of Panposh sub-division and at Sol, Jarda, Tamra and Banki PHCs in remote Gurundia block of Bonai sub-division.
Habitual absenteeism of doctors in rural areas only aggravates the situation at rural health institutions. During surprise checks by Vigilance sleuths in September last year, they found doctors concerned missing from Sanpatrapali PHC (New), Kinjirkela CHC and Lathikata PHC (New) in Tangarpali, Balishankara and Lathikata blocks respectively.
The situation is no better at SDHH either. Against the bed strength of 197, it practically handles 300 to 325 patients daily with 21 vacancies against the sanctioned posts of 51 doctors.
A senior doctor said that of the 30 doctors, only 22 manage the SDHH. Eight doctors in the ranks of Joint Director Level-II and Senior Medical Officers remain engaged in immunisation programmes and drives to control malaria-dengue-diarrhoea, tuberculosis and leprosy for at least 10 to 15 days a month. Of the 22 doctors, four are likely to get new postings at Bhubaneswar, Jharsuguda and Bonai soon which would further worsen the situation.
Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Dr S B Naik said shortage of doctors is a state-wide phenomenon and they are committed to extend better healthcare services to the poor urban and rural population using available resources.
ROURKELA: After Bhubaneswar, the state has one more contender for the smart city tag. The steel city of Rourkela on Tuesday was accorded the smart city honour with the Centre listing it among 27 cities in its third list released by the Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
The capital city was adjudged the smartest city in the country in October last year. Rourkela had missed the opportunity in the first and second round but managed to get the tag in the third round. Sources said the massive participation of the people in the opinion poll in the race to the smart city fetched it the tag.
The small village of Rourkela became a modern industrial town after the public sector giant, the Rourkela Steel Plant, was established in 1958. Like Bhubaneswar, Rourkela was also designed by the Germans. In November 2014, the state government upgraded the Rourkela municipality into a municipal corporation.
The smart city tag to the city by the Centre is also an indication of the BJP planning to strengthen its base further in the region. The city comes under Sundargarh district, where BJP stalwart and Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram is the Lok Sabha MP. The Rourkela assembly constituency is also represented by Dilip Kumar Ray, another senior BJP leader.
After the Centre’s announcement, the city erupted in joy. The industrial hub, like the capital city, which has planned a series of programmes for the city’s makeover, will soon turn into a model town. More foreign investment is likely to be pumped into making the smart city.
Apart from injecting smart ways into the planning to ensure a stress-free workplace, the municipal corporation has planned to develop the city from the Bisra Chowk to Panposh. This area has been decided to be Rourkela’s upscale area like that of Bhubaneswar.
In a heart wrenching incident that should put Odisha Government’s tall claims on healthcare facilities to shame, a helpless old man was today spotted by local reporters lying on the veranda of Sundargarh district headquarters hospital awaiting medical care since past eight days.
The frail looking man – identified as Pawan Bodra — is suffering from diarrhoea. He admitted himself in the hospital on August 31 seeking medical attention. However, without a family member or caretaker to attend to his needs, all that he has been given by the hospital staff is a saline.
“I have been suffering from diarrhoea and came here for treatment. I can’t see a doctor around. I am lying here in hunger. No one has offered me any help,” said the Bodra fumbling, with his hands trembling out of weakness.
Even though the saline pipe was still connected to his body, his condition was pitiable as he laid there on the hard ground without any bedding, medicine or clean clothes.
The hospital authorities, however, claimed that the patient was mentally unstable even though we could make no such observation from our conversation with the patient.
“The patient has certain neurological deficits along with diarrhoea. He keeps coming out on his own no matter how we try to keep him in the ward. He doesn’t have an attendant with him. We are unable to keep an eye on him round the clock,” said Sundargarh CDMO Sashi Bhusan Nayak.
“We are not neglecting him. We are changing his clothes regularly. We have asked the Sulabh folks to clean his clothes,” he added.
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!