As the year 2021 draws to a close under the shadow of COVID-19 which has impacted the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world, there were (and are) several people. who left an indelible mark on society by defying all odds during the year affected by the pandemic.
Here are just a few, among the many, listed as the 2021 Newsmakers in Odisha who grabbed the spotlight for their exploits and gave the people of the state reason to cherish in trying times.
Nanda Kishore Prusti
Nanda Kishore Prusti, affectionately known as Nanda Sir, was honored with the prestigious Padma Shri by the President of India in November of this year for his immense contributions to education and social services over more than seven decades.
Nanda Sir, a resident of Kantira village in Jajpur district of Odisha, who studied until grade seven due to his family’s poor financial situation, continued to provide free education to primary school students in his region in its humble “Chatashali”.
Sadly, Nanda Sir died on December 7 while undergoing treatment for Covid-19. He was 104 years old.
Odisha’s Para Shuttler world champion Pramod Bhagat etched state and country glory by winning the gold medal in the singles badminton event at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2021, no doubt the one of the best successes ever for an Odisha athlete.
Bhagat also received the 2021 Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award from President Ram Nath Kovind for his accomplishments, sparking jubilations across the state.
Originally from Attabira in the Bargarh district, Bhagat contracted polio at the age of 4 and started playing the sport after seeing his neighbors play. He eventually emerged as one of the top para-commuters in the country and was ranked number one in the world in SL3 para-badminton men’s singles.
Matilda Kullu (45), who has worked for ASHA for 15 years, was on the ‘Forbes India W-Power 2021’ list along with Amazon chief Aparna Purohit and banker Arundhati Bhattacharya.
Forbes India noted that Kullu, who earns Rs 4,500 per month, has dedicated his life to caring for 964 people in Baragaon Tehsil of Sundargarh district in Odisha.
This is the first time that an ASHA worker has been featured in the famous list and Kullu from any village in Gargadbahal village in Sundargarh district which has established itself as one of the country’s rare gems.
As the co-founder of OBEN Electric Vehicle Private Limited, Madhumita Agarwal of Odisha is the first woman to run an electric vehicle manufacturing company in India.
Born into a middle class family in Rourkela, Madhumita achieved a rare feat in the automotive industry through her hard work and dedication.
A former student of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kharagpur, Madhumita, along with her husband, Dinkar Agrawal, founded the electric vehicle manufacturing company in 2020. However, its achievement sparked a lot of discussion in 2021 and she was able to capture a substantial amount of media. attention throughout the year.
Ekka deep grace:
From a remote village named Lulkidihi-Bahamnibahal in the Balisankra bloc of the Sundargarh district, to being a double Olympian – Deep Grace Ekka indeed brought immense pride to the state after being selected as the co-vice-captain of the women’s hockey team that represented India in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Although the team lost the bronze medal game in hockey, India made history at the Tokyo Olympics by becoming the country’s first women’s hockey team to advance to the semi-finals.
Ekka was one of the most consistent goalies in defense almost on his own and didn’t disappoint in a single game at the Olympics.
In knockout matches, she played almost every 60 minutes of the game.
She has come a long way and her dedication has made her one of the most important faces among journalists in 2021.
Born in Odisha, Prativa Mohapatra became the first woman to lead US tech giant Adobe’s operations in the country after being appointed vice president and general manager of Adobe India in 2021.
Mahapatra obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer technology and engineering from Regional Engineering College (now NIT), Rourkela, then attended the Xavier Institute of Management in Bhubaneswar to continue her graduate studies in management where she majored in systems and finance.
Odisha Indian Air Force Officer Air Marshal Dilip Kumar Patnaik Received Ati Vishisht Seva Medal In Recognition For “Distinguished Service Of Exceptional Order” To The Armed Forces by President Ram Nath Kovind in 2021.
Fighter pilot Patnaik became the first Odia to be elevated to the prestigious post of Commander-in-Chief Air Officer of Eastern Air Command.
He was commissioned into the flying branch of the Indian Air Force on June 8, 1984.