Eminent personalities

A list of people who have contributed in the growth of Sambalpuri culture and Odia language are given below.

Veer Surendra Sai

Born on 23 January 1809 in Badgaon village under Dhama P.S. in a Royal Family. He ascended the throne of Sambalpur in attractive827. Popularly known as a warrior, Surendra Sai led a revolution against the British Rulers, assembling thousands of protesters. He was imprisoned by then British Rulers and breathed his last on 28 February 1884. He is called the Shivaji(ଶିବାଜୀ) of Odisha. He has been remembered for his unflinching patriotism, dedication to the motherland and is remembered as the foremost freedom fighter of India.

Gangadhar Meher

Born on 9 August 1862 on the day of Sravana Purnima at Barpali, Bargarh District (undivided Sambalpur District) in a weaver family. Educated up to 5th class. His poetic creation includes ‘Pranaya Ballari’, ‘Kichhaka Baddha, ‘Indumati’, ‘Utkala Laxmi’, ‘Ayodhya’, ‘Bharati Bhabana’, ‘Bhakti Upahara’, ‘Kabita Mala’ and ‘Krushaka Sangita’. He is widely known as the poet of nature. He is rated as a great poet in Indian Literature. He died on 4 April 1924. His poetics can be decided into lyrics, devotional, patriotic, reformation, ethical, agricultural, elegy and narration of nature. His prose creation includes ‘Atma Jeevan’, ‘Shri Nruparaj Singh’, ‘Purana Kabi Fakir Mohan’, ‘Swargiya Kasinath Panda’, ‘Ehaki Pruthibira Sabda’, ‘Sikshit, Asikshit and Sikhya Bhimani’.

Chandra Shekhar Behera(1873-1936)

Chandra Sekhar Behera was a leading freedom fighter and an active participant in the Non-Cooperation Movement. He started the National freedom movement in the Sambalpur region and merged his activities with the Indian National Congress. He was a founding member of the National School of Sambalpur started on lines of Satyabadi Vana-Vidyalaya founded by Gopabandhu Das. As the chairman of Sambalpur Municipality, he received Gandhiji in Sambalpur in 1928. Organised a mass movement against “illiteracy and untouchability”. He participated in the activities of Utkal Sammilani in the formation of the separate statehood for Orissa. He breathed his last on 23 January 1936.

Satya Narayan Bohidar

He is known as the pioneer of the Sambalpuri language and Grammar. He was born on 1 August 1930 at Sonepur. His creative years were spent in Sambalpur that produced a good number of literary translations and biographies. Fighting against all odds, he was successful in preparing a dictionary and grammar book especially in Sambalpuri Language, which provides a significant identity to Sambalpuri Language. He was died on 31 December 1980, leaving a great legacy behind him to influence the future generation.

Jadunath Supakar

Padmashree Jadunath Supakar was born on 10 February 1931 in an artisan’s family of Sambalpur town. He was educated at the National Arts School of Shantiniketan. Starting as an artist of portraits, he earned his name as a great master of handicraft who continued his undying effort for the popularity of forgotten traditional weaving. Working for the national handloom Board, he tied his hand in Sericulture. His designs were highly appreciated in London, Paris, New York Cities and he was engaged in the weavers’ service centre, established for the cause of artisans development. He was also known for his mastery of playing musical instruments.

Issac Santra

He is known for his service and benevolence par excellence. He was born in 1892 at Sambalpur. Being a Christian, he was persuaded by his family to join a missionary at Bolangir, but his interest was different. He graduated as a doctor from Cuttack and decided to dedicate himself to Leprosy Eradication Mission. He established a Leprosy home at Hatibari, a village surrounded by dense forests and spent his time serving the patients. Highly admired for his humanitarianism and philanthropy by the patients, academic circles abroad, even by Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Sambalpur. He was honoured by the Government of India with the “Padmashree” award. He had also edited a magazine “Prabhatee”, propounding human values and qualities. He died on 29 August 1968.

Laxmi Narayan Mishra

Eminent freedom fighter, known for his selfless and sincere service to the motherland. He was born in 1906 and had left school as a student to join India’s freedom movement. He was imprisoned for seventeen years for his active role in the national struggle for Independence. Jail provided him with the opportunity to be a scholar and he became a real Pandit with his education on religion, culture and political thought. He was an expert in the languages like Odia, Sanskrit, Urdu, Bengali, Telugu, Hindi, English and had earned fame as an extraordinary orator. He was assassinated during a train journey at Jharsuguda.

Radhashyam Meher

He was born on 20 November 1909 at Sambalpur and died on 19 May 1961. He invented the first handloom to weave textiles of ninety inches width. The Sambalpuri Sari is his creativity. He nurtured futures and guided the weaving community to improve their skills. He is known as the father of Sambalpuri Textiles, who opened the way for the era of Baandha Art. He participated in the freedom struggle and was jailed during the Quit India Movement. He made an effort to remove untouchability and maintain communal harmony amongst all classes and religions. Only his selfless services have made him immortal.

Lakshminath Bezbarao

 Lakshminath Bezbarua was a prominent Assamese poet, novelist and playwright of modern Assamese literature. Born on 14 October 1864 and died on 26 March 1938. He was an Assamese poet, novelist and playwright of modern Assamese literature. He was one of the literary followers of the Jonaki Era, the age of romanticism in Assamese literature when through his essays, plays, fiction, poetry and satires, he gave new momentum to the then stagnating Assamese literature. He was residing with his parents in the house located near Mandela Chowk, Sambalpur, Odisha from 1878 to 1938.

General Sundararajan Padmanabhan

He became the 20th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army in September 2000. He was born at Trivandrum in Kerala on 5 December 1940 and spent his childhood at Sambalpur.

Aparajita Mohanty

Aparajita Mohanty is a beautiful, versatile and leading Odia actress, and the darling of many viewers, both on the big and small screens. She was born on 15 May 1965, at Sambalpur. She is regarded as one of the most beautiful Odia actresses in the Odia Film Industry. She was the number one Odia actress for quite a long time during her successful career. Her first film was ” Seeta Labkush” in 1980. She has acted in more than a hundred movies. She is married to legendary Odia actor Uttam Mohanty. They both were made many hit Odia movies. Their son is Tanmay Mohanty or popularly known as Babushan.

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