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Eating ant eggs for survival: Padma Shri ‘Odisha Canal Man’

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Jyoti Prabha
Written by Jyoti Prabha

A single-handed tribal farmer, Daitari Nayak, carved a 3-km tunnel through Odisha’s Gonasika mountains. This year he was granted the Padma Shri for his efforts that led to 100-acre land irrigation in his region.

President Kovind presents Padma Shri to Shri Daitari Naik for Social Work.

President Kovind presents Padma Shri to Shri Daitari Naik for Social Work. Member of a tribal community in Odisha, he carved out a three-kilometer canal from the Gonasika mountains. This canal now provides water to about 100 acres of land

Posted by President of India on Sunday, March 17, 2019

Now, this 75-year-old’ Odisha Canal Man,’ from the village of Talabaitarani in the mineral-rich district of Kenojhar, is without work. 

According to accounts, he is famished to the extent that his family needs to consume’ ant eggs’ to survive. He wants to return the award that led to people denying him work because it is below his dignity.

odisha canal man

Naik told “Since the day I was honored with a Padma Shri award, people here began to say the government had made me a big man, so if they continued to give me work, they would bear a stain.’ Now you’re not going to get any job from us,’ they informed me.”

Naik added a few leaders assured him that they would grant him a concrete house under the state government’s Biju Pakka Ghara scheme. So far, however, nothing has occurred. He said there’s not even an all-time highway connecting his village to the city.

He is reported to sell his household’s tendu leaves and aam papad. The prize pushed him into a state of misery. He wants to return the award so he can find a job.

About the author

Jyoti Prabha

Jyoti Prabha

A short girl with big dreams! I love to travel with my favorite food :)

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