Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation commends leaders of social change at its 7th Annual Shambhavi Puraskar award ceremony in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF) held its 7th Shambhavi Puraskar award ceremony at The Crown Hotel, Bhubaneswar on March 12, 2020.

‘Shambhavi Puraskar 2020’ was conferred upon Mr. Hiradhara Sahu by the Chief Guest, Mr. Amitabh Behar, Chief Executive Officer, Oxfam India; and the Guest of Honour, Prof. B N Thorat, Director and Professor of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Bhubaneswar. Mr. Sahu was chosen for his outstanding contribution and leadership efforts towards forest conservation in the district of Deogarh through his initiative, Zilla Jungle Manch. He led a movement and brought together the residents of 900 villages who worked with him in forest management. His efforts resulted in 15.90 square kilometres of forest receiving protection and conservation successfully with every village in Deogarh getting its own village forest. In addition to this, his initiative led to 6,000 tribal families getting land under the Forest Rights Act.

Apart from the ‘Shambhavi Puraskar 2020’, BIPF also recognizes those individuals who stand out as an example of courage and are the pillars of strength to the community. This year, BIPF conferred the ‘Jury Commendation Certificate 2020’ upon Mr. Anil Pradhan for his dedication, determination, and selfless service towards providing education to underprivileged children in the rural areas of Cuttack district. An engineer from profession, he has established International Public School for Rural Innovation and Navonmesh Prasar Foundation that provide education in science, technology and innovation to the rural students free of charge. His initiatives have impacted 15,000 students between the age group of 8-15 years.

Mr Amitabh Behar CEO OXFAM India Chief Guest for the event said “In these times of growing inequality, it is critical to remember that real change always happens from margins. Sincere thanks to Shambahvi Puruskar for turning on the spotlight on these real heroes who are changing the world through their commitment and idealism. I go back inspired with these stories of selfless leadership and dedication”.

Speaking on the occasion one of the Jury Member of Shambhavi Puraskar 2020, Mr Shantamay Chatterjee Regional Programme Director CARE India said “The Sambhavi Puraskar is an opportunity and a recognition for individuals with outstanding contribution to society. BIPF has not only has taken this initiative ahead but has shown the finest zeal and pursued to track the individuals work and its significance amongst community and recognition by diverse stakeholders like government officials as well. Seldom we see Corporate Social Foundations taking on such mammoth tasks and accomplish with finesse”.

Mr A P Das, General Manager NABARD Odisha, Jury Member of 7th Shambhavi Puraskar said “SHAMBHAVI PURASKAR is a novel initiative to explore many good grass-root level works undertaken by individuals across the state. The award will be catalytic in promoting such micro level initiative and will be the building block of a future responsible civil society”.

Ms. Shaifalika Panda, CEO, BIPF, said “It takes years of dedication to uplift a genre.  At BIPF we believe it is our reponsibility to give this cult of dedicated social catalysts a platform to grow further.  When change makers get a dias they inspire more to follow altruistic principles.”

The Shambhavi Puraskar was instituted by BIPF in 2014 to “recognize those who act as agents of social change and motivate others to follow in their footsteps.”  It carries a citation and cash award of Rs. 2,50,000/-. The “Shambhavi Jury Commendation Certification carries a citation and a cash award for Rs. 50,000/-.

About BIPF: Late Dr. Bansidhar and Mrs. Ila Panda believed that when the most vulnerable are lifted, entire society benefits. With this belief as their ‘true north’, they began to work with the most marginalised communities of Odisha. In 2011, the Bansidhar and Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF) was established to implement sustainable and scalable interventions in the areas of health, education, livelohood and water sanitation. BIPF is structured to partner and collaborate with the Central and State governments as well as local and international organisations to implement programs and drive results, while maintaining accountability and transparency. BIPF works in Cuttuck, Rayagada, Keonjhar, Jajpur and Angul districts. Currently, the foundation’s geographic focus spans five districts in Odisha, which cover nearly 200 villages and has built its reputation on high impact and performance.