Late Sarata Chandra Panigrahi, a Gandhian Socialist and Environmentalist, worked throughout his life for the social, environmental, economic and cultural uplift-ment of down trodden and the weaker sections of people of the backward KBK region of Odisha. Late Panigrahi, who was born in April 1922, had served the nation by joining Indian Army and rendering war services, during the Second World War as a Superintendent Engineer (SE) of Military Engineering Services (MES), under Eastern Commands of Government of India. He is well known for his unprecedented dedications and tireless struggle for more than a half century in “Bhudan Jagnya (Land Reforms) Movements” and Praja Andolan“ of the State, being inspired by than Vinoba Bhabe, Jaiprakash Narayan and Ram Monohar Lohia - is well recognized, who has created history by distributing the Jagiri and all other types of Land, in his life span to more than 2 lakhs plus landless, poor and marginalized Adivasis & Harijans, providing them the minimum livelihood security for sustaining their basics, especially in the neglected Gadajat Regions. He along with 18 thousand Harijans and Adivasis, went on a Public Protest and Procession and tore the Lower Court Stay Orders, issued by the District Judge, asking Harijans and Adivasis, not to enter their Jagiri Land, being bribed by Gountias (Land Lords), Who lost half acre of their land because the Land Reform Movement, in a Public Meeting,
hence Late Sarata Chandra faced Contempt of the Court.
He was a dedicated worker for the Sarvadaya Movement in Odisha with Late Gopabandhu Choudhary and Malati Choudhary. He was the Founder and President of Harijan Adivasi Sammilani, at Balangir, since 1946, with an enrolled membership of more than 75 thousand and was running this trust, with his own expenses for about 58 long years till his death, to safeguard the interests of these vulnerable communities, being inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation.
Late Panigrahi is known for his immense contribution for up-holding our age-old high moral value system of the Society. His principle of life was – “I desire not the kingdom of heaven, if it does not come through the path of righteousness”. He has refused an Offer, by than Chief Minister of Odisha, Late Nandini Satpathy, to become a Member of Upper House (Rajya Shabha) of the Indian Parliament, on moral ground. Moreover, He was instrumental in delivering many public works like, establishing major educational and cultural institutions of the region, like, Women’s College, Town Girl’s High School, Town High School, Ayurved College, Sanskrit College etc and most remarkably he has contributed to Girl’s education and Women Empowerment. In addition, His dedication and historic role in the restoration of pre-independence period’s re-knowned Cultural Institution of Western-Odisha called Koshola Kala Mandal is well recalled.
It is late Panigrahi, who leaded, as the President of Gandhamardan Surakhya Parishad and the great Gandhamardan Surakhya Parivesh Andolan; which is in fact, the First Environment Movement of Odisha and one of leading the national movements on Environment Conservation, next to Chipko Andolan at Uttarakhand and Silent Valley Conservation Movement, in Western Ghats Range of Mountains at northern Kerala, where around more than 12 lakhs people, those who were living in and around Gandhamardan Mountain Range participated in this movement, spanning more than 7 years to protect the rich biodiversity, medicinal herbs and plants, perennial water streams and rivers, precious wildlife, who started running here and there and came down to the villages at planes and adjoining paddy fields, with a fear, when high powered Dynamite Bastings were conducted, livelihood options that, this mountain used to offer to poor and marginalized population, indigenous tribes and local tribals, who live and survives on the natural resources of this mountain ecosystem, natural, religious and cultural heritage of this region, protesting a huge Boxsite Mining Project of BALCO, a than Public Sector Undertaking of Government of India. This Andolan is backed by than Leading Environmentalists Shri Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Shri Nag Choudhury, Shri Sundarlal Bhahuguna and late Anil Agrawal Ji and Others, which ultimately withdrawn by Government.
Since Late Panigrahi is a Great Visionary and well known for his remarkable contribution to the Social, Environmental, Cultural, Educational and Economic Sustainability arena of the nation, IISD, along with Sarata Chandra Panigrahi Foundation (SCPF); through Sarata Chandra Panigrahi Endowment Fund, institutes this prestigious National Sustainability Awards, in following 8 different categories, to be conferred at New Delhi in a national public function, in an gala evening, in every alternate year, in the profound memory of this great soul, since April 2020. This Endowment Fund is supported by Late Sarata Chandra Panigrahi Ji's Family Members, IISD and few Other Donors, Sponsors and Philanthropists.
We invite Award Nominations by Eminent Citizens of the India, where anyone can propose and anyother citizen can second, at any point of time, round the year, by writing in a simple A-4 size paper, along with the personal and professional detailed Bio Profile and Credentials of the proposed Individual or Institution, in addition to 2 notes from the proposer and the seconder, why they feel so at [email protected] in confidence. The Award is confined to Indian nationals, at least for initial first 10 years and the contributions to be recognized that confines to the geographical tertiary of India. The Awards are to be decided by an Eminent Jury Panel, with rounds of consultation and to be made public, at least 2 weeks before the Award Ceremony.
Late Sarata Chandra Panigrahi - (1922-2004)
1. Late Sarata Chandra is leading many Social Movements along with his Colleagues at different times.
2. Photographs 2 and 3 above is related to historic Land Reform Movements, involving Harijans and Adivasis.