Odisha govt to provide financial assistance to poor Padma Shri awardees

Bhubaneswar: Days after Odisha’s mountain man Daitari Naik wanted to return his Padma Shri award after locals refused to give him work, the state government has announced Rs 10,000 monthly assistance to all poor Padma Shri awardees in the state.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has approved a proposal to provide financial assistance for the Padma award winners with poor economic background.

The state government will provide Rs 10, 000 per month to Padma Shri winners belonging to economically weaker section (EWS) category, official sources said.

According to government data, a total of 84 persons from the state have so far been honoured with Padma Shri, and out it, 45 were passed away.

Recently, 75-year-old tribal farmer Daitari Nayak of in mineral-rich Kenojhar district, who was awarded the Padma Shri this year for digging a 3-km long canal through a mountain, wanted to return the award saying the honour has only pushed him to penury.

“People are not giving me any work as they think it is below my dignity,” Nayak said.