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Daitari Naik Daitari Naik

Mountain Man of Odisha to return his Padma Shri

Jun 25, 2019

Daitari Naik, a 70-year-old tribal man of Baitarani village in the district here, who carved out a three-km-long canal through a mountain with a hoe and crowbar so that the water stream could irrigate the parched land below, 

and was honoured with Padma Shri, now wants to return the award to the government. For, after being awarded Padma Shri, Daitari Naik alias ‘canal man of Odisha’ was not getting any work to earn his living in his native village.

 Naik was involved in day-to-day cultivation job in his village before getting the prestigious award. Now Daitari and his family rue that they are not getting any job to make their ends meet. Daitari is now selling mangoes for a living. 

 The Padma Shri award winner claims that the government has forgotten its promise of development in his area and the village is dying a slow death due to official apathy. 

 Naik says that getting the award has become a curse for his family. The padma shri award winner blames the villagers as well for the apathy, as the family is denied any job. According to the padmashri awardee, the villagers taunt on him becoming rich due to padmashree award has become a bane rather a boon for him as well.

 Somnath Pradhan, Keonjhar, Sub Collector speaking to Zee Media said the government is trying to address the financial concerns raised by the Padmashri award winner.

 “The BDO has been instructed to include Daitari Naik’s house into BIJU Pakka house yojana or Pradhan Mantri awas yojana and also into various social security schemes of the government to bail out from his crisis situation,” Pradhan said.


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