New Delhi: Devarapalli Prakash Rao, Daitari Naik and Kamala Pujari from Odisha received the Padma Shri from President Ram Nath Kovind at the 2019 Civil Investiture Ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday.
Rao bagged the award for providing affordable education to slum children, while Naik and Pujari were felicitated for their contribution to social work and agriculture respectively.
Rao, who runs a tea stall in Cuttack, has been working tirelessly towards providing education to slum children through his primary school, Asha o Aswasana, in Cuttack.
Daitari Naik of Keonjhar carved out a 3-km-long canal from a mountain stream to water his agricultural fields.
Kamala Pujari, a tribal woman from Koraput, was honoured for her commendable job in preserving an indigenous paddy variety. She is a member of the Odisha Planning Board.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s sister Gita Mehta Mehta, too, was selected for the prestigious civilian honour, for her contribution to literature and education as an NRI, but she declined the same, saying the timing, months before the general elections, may be “misconstrued”.
This year, 112 personalities were selected for the Padma awards. The President had presented a Padma Vibhushan, eight Padma Bhushan and 46 Padma Shri Awards on March 11.