**Bhubaneswar: ** Gracing the three-day long Non-Resident Odia Conclave at the national capital on Friday evening hosted by the Odisha Forum in association with Odisha Government, President of India Pranab Mukherjee extolled the diverse talents of the Odisha people and expressed high hopes that Odias from across India and the world would utilise their talents for the prosperity of the nation as well as their own State.
The first citizen of India in his address was optimistic that the great congregation of Odias from various parts of India and the world would strap up their capabilities and expertise in a bid to push forward the prosperity of both Odisha and India.
A statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan also said the President was confident that the Prabasi Odia Conclave would take forward such a vision.
The President in his address said Odias were making their presence felt both in India as well as in the global forum by virtue of their merit, talent and academics.
“We have today a large pool of Prabasi Odias well known for their excellence in diverse fields of politics, judiciary, journalism, bureaucracy and literature,” the first citizen of India said.
The President also recalled legendary Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das and his priceless contribution and novel sacrifice for spearheading the historic movement of Utkal Sammilani in 1903 to unify Odisha as a separate state.
The President also said that Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das was instrumental in setting up the first educational institution for women which became a college in 1913 much ahead of the first women’s university in Bombay set up in 1916.
“A lofty endeavour at that time and a worthy endeavour for all times,” the first citizen of India remarked.
The inaugural evening was also graced by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.