Bhubaneswar: Four Odias have been shortlisted for the conferment of Padma Awards for the year 2023. The Odias include Maguni Charan Kuanr (Art), Antaryami Mishra (Literature & Education), Krishna Patel (Art) and Patayat Sahu (Agriculture) will receive the Padma Shri award at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. Here are brief bios of these eminent Odias who have made us proud.
Maguni Charan Kuanr
Born in 1937 in Keonjhar in Odisha, Maguni Charan Kuanr belongs to a family of traditional puppeteers. His father Baishnab Charan Kuanr initiated young Maguni into the art of Kandhei Nach, which employs rod puppets. Maguni also learned sculpture in clay, stone, and wood from Bhagaban Jena, a traditional sculptor. He has excelled in his vocation as a puppeteer and has contributed to the recognition of Kandhei Nach beyond Odisha and, later, established his own troupe, the Utkal Vishwakarma Kalakunja Kandhei Nach, based in Keonjhar.
Like many traditional puppeteers, he is the creator of his own puppets, the designer of costumes, and the narrator of the plays performed. To propagate his art, Maguni participated in camps and workshops organized by Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi and other institutions. His work has been documented by various agencies in India as well as abroad. Among other honours, Maguni has received awards from the Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi and the North Orissa University. He also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to the traditional puppetry of Odisha.
“The recognition was long due. All through my life, I have worked with my own money, which I could have spent on my family. So, I am grateful to my family and dedicate this honour to them,” Maguni said.
Dr. Krishna Patel
The Government of India has deemed Dr. Krishna Patel of Sambalpur worthy of the Padma Shri award for her contribution to the field of art. Octogenarian Dr. Krishna Patel is widely known as a good singer. She is a recognised voice and television artiste and an active member of the Sambalpur Art Council. She is the co-singer of the iconic Odia song “Rangabati”. Born on November 28, 1957, Krishna Patel has sung in more than 500 songs so far. Earlier, “Rangabati” lyricist Mitrabhaanu Gountia and singer Jitendraya Haripal have been honored with Padma Shri for the “Rangabati” song.
Dr. Antaryami Mishra
Eminent Odia litterateur Dr Antaryami Mishra has been selected for conferment of the Padma Shri award. Dr Mishra, a reputed columnist and researcher, has been contributing to the study and research in Odia language, grammar, culture and history for the last 50 years. He has also immense contributions to essay and book writing in the vernacular language.
Dr Antaryami Mishra has already authored around 30 books in these literary fields so far. He was conferred President’s Award for his contribution to research in classical Odia language and book writing in 2019. He is the first person from Odisha to have received the award as an Odia linguist. Dr Mishra was also conferred with the Nabagunjara Samman on October 1, 2022.
Patayat Sahu, a farmer by day and an Ayurveda practitioner by night, is a resident of Nandol village in Kalahandi district and has developed the garden without the intervention of chemicals and fertilisers. A farmer by profession, Sahu has been investing his time in nurturing as many as 3,000 medicinal plants spread across 1.5 acres of land in his backyard. The 65-year-old has planted and developed the garden without the intervention of chemicals and fertilisers. He shared that he has been using organic manure for this purpose and has even documented the plants that have been grown. Sahu said that he started learning about traditional medicine as a hobby and started working in the medicinal garden 40 years ago and added new species with time. “My grandfather was a Vaidya (traditional healer). After completing my education, I learned traditional healing practices from him. Besides, I got access to many manuscripts on traditional healing practices and medicinal plants”, he said. He prepares medicines from plants and herbs and helps in treating people without asking for anything in return. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the 81st episode of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, praised Sahu for his contribution to developing natural healthcare products.