The conferment of 112 Padma awards including 94 Padma Shri awards for this year on the eve of Republic Day has been confirmed by the President of India.

While te Padma Shri award will be conferred to Daitri Naik for his contribution to the country in the field of social work, Kamala Pujari has been nominated for agriculture. India’s fourth highest civilian award for immense contribution to the nation in social work and affordable education will be given to tea-seller Devarapalli Prakash Rao.

Although three from the State have made it to the list of Padma Shri awards, nobody from Odisha was nominated for the prestigious Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awards for this year.

Here’s a look at Odisha’s three living legends acknowledged by the Union government for the Padma Awards.

Daitari Naik

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Hailing from a remote village under Bansapal block in Keonjhar district, Naik struggled to construct a canal through the hills and is known as the ‘Mountain Man’ of Baitarani village. He broke rocks to carve out about a 4-kilometer-long canal in a stream to irrigate his cultivated land.

Kamala Pujari

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Known for promoting organic farming without any basic education, Pujari, a tribal woman from Koraput district in Odisha has managed to preserve 100 types of paddy till the date.

Devarapalli Prakash Rao

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First acknowledged by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his popular radio show Mann Ki Baat last year, unsung hero, popularly known as D Prakash Rao, continues to serve people with his little earning. Living in a slum cluster near Buxi Bazaar area in Cuttack city, Rao is tea-seller by profession.

A familiar face in Cuttack for his social works, Rao has set an example for many who dream to serve mankind and do something for the society. He realises the importance of primary education and helps the slum children with it by opening a small school that provides free education from class I to V standard and runs on the fund that comes from his tea stall earnings. He has hired a teacher for the same.