3 Odias get Padma Shri

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Bhubaneswar, jan 26: Filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda, Kosli poet Haldar Nag and master weaver Sribhas Supakar have been chosen for the prestigious Padma Shri award in the fields of film direction, literature and textile designing respectively. They are among the 112 Padma awardees whose names were announced by the central government on Monday.

Bargarh-based Nag, 65, said the award belongs to people of Western Odisha. "The love I have got from the people of this region is unmatched. They had approached the state government proposing my name for the award. This is an achievement for them and the Kosli language," Nag said.

Nag, who started writing short stories in the early 90s, is now penning poems in Kosli. Some of his popular works are 'Prem Paechan', 'Siri Somalai', 'Rasia Kavi', 'Maa Sati Urmila', 'Bachhar', 'Achhia Sunder Sai', 'Siri Samaelei' and 'Mahasati Urmila'.

Panda, who has films like 'I am Kalam', 'Jalpari' and 'Kaun Kitne Pani Main' to his credit, thanked the state and central governments for the award. "The award will inspire me to do more films on social issues," he said. Panda is currently busy with the post production work of a film on Nabakalebara to be released shortly. His inspirational film 'I Am Kalam' had won the National Award and 32 international film awards. Jalpari revolved around female foeticide.

Supakar, a native of Sambalpur but settled at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, said he would work for revival of Odisha's rich handloom tradition. "My father got Padma Shri for weaving in 1985 and I am carrying his legacy forward. I worked for revival of crafts in Uttar Pradesh and would like to revive the textile of Odisha as well," he said.

In September, 2015, the state government had sent names of 20 eminent persons from the fields of art, music, dance and medicine for the Padma awards.

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