Early in the morning of 29th January, 2012 while most of the denizens of the city vying not to lose a moment’s warmth of their cozy bed in the winter Sunday, the OUAT Guest House was agog in welcoming a stream of visitors who evidently battered by overnight Train/Bus journeys, were gently putting their numb and weary feet in.
But all faces were lit up at the prospect of an imminent union of their family – the family of DIGJYOTI. And these DIGJYOTIANS were our dear Sudhansu Sekhar Nath of Kurujanga, Laxmipriya Sahoo of Sabalakana, Chagala Das of Gopalpur – all prized products of Sabalakana High school who were accompanied by their teacher & mentor- Mrs.Deepanjali Mishra and two guardians- Mrs. Nirmala Sahoo and Krupasindhu Guru; Puspalata Jena of KGNM Trust, Satyabhamapur with her caring Trust Superintendent, Mrs. Shyamali Pati; Chaitanya Pradhan from Angul District; Shyam Sundar Pati from Balasore District; Ganesh Prasad Dash father of Rashmi Dash from Bhadrak District, Sumitra Pradhan from Ganjam District accompanied by her mentor, Mrs. Chandana Mishra of Nehru Seva Sangh, Banpur; Ms Sibani Biswal from Khurda District, Durga Prasad Swain of Jagatsinghpur District, Prasanta Kumar Mishra with his guardian, Kshirodra Budek from Balangir District; Sudhansu Padhan & his guide Nilakantha Kar from Sonepur District and Bipin Kumar Patra from Phulbani District.
The whole forenoon was spent by the participating students in educational tours to the city’s famous Science Park and Regional Natural History Museum. Mr. Jayant Pati, Extension Education Scientist, who accompanied the Group all along, showed them the exhibits of the Centres and organized a video show with the assistance of Pathani Samanta Planetorium which was very educative for the children.
The afternoon session of the interaction was marked by emotional union of the awardee children, exchanging ideas and experiences symptomatic of a strong family bondage. The session was attended among others br the Vice-Chancellor of Orissa University of Agriculture & Tecchnology Prof D.P.Ray ,the Chairman of DIGJYOTI, Prof. Khageswar Pradhan; Trustees- Mrs. Sucheta Pradhan & Mr. B.C. Das; noted socialites associated with the Trust- Prof. B.C. Nayak, Prof. M. Roy, Prof. S.K. Rout and the Trust’s Executive Associate, Mr. B. Bastia .
Initiating the proceedings of the meeting, the Chairman formally requested Dr.D.P.Ray to preside over the meeting and Sri B.C.Das to present the progress report of the Trust.
Self-introduction and exhaustive introspection by the awardee children revealed the rewarding efforts put in by DIGJYOTI round the year. The participants were spell bound at the touching revealations of the children for hours especially that of an orphan child from Kandhamal who was being supported by the Trust for last five years. Now he is a teacher & well settled in life.
Joining the emotion, Mrs. Sucheta Pradhan wished the children happiness and prosperity in the year ahead. She reflected how nice it was to receive season’s greetings from some children and wished that others should follow suite to similar niceties which strengthen the bonds of love of the Digjyoti family. She also advised the children to concentrate on their studies and do well in their chosen field- be it Science, Arts,Commerce or some professional education. There is vast scope for career development in each and every field and it is to us to chose the one which we like most.
Prof. B.C. Nayak, Prof. M. Roy and Prof. S.K. Rout who are associated with DIGJYOTI right from its formation for screening the deserving candidates and helping them through their expert advice & guidance, spoke to the children at length and advised them to concentrate on their goals in life. They should feel proud that their achievements and dedication have been singularly recognized by DIGJYOTI from among the scores of applicants and that they should redeem this faith imposed on them to make them accomplished citizens in our society.
Mrs. Deepanjali Mishra of Sabalakana High School- a pioneering figure in pleading the cause of education for meritorious poor and socially disadvantaged children, in her emotion- filled discourse, appreciated the achievements of the Trust even at its infancy and hoped that over the years it shall grow from strength to strength and redeem the vision and mission of the Founders in greater measure.
The chairman, DIGJYOTI, Prof. Khageswar Pradhan wished that the New Year bring to the children good health and all goodness in their life. To him this interaction is very important and unique in the sense that it gives an opportunity to know each other more intimately, dispelling doubts and inhibitions which help building their self-confidence. The Chairman observed encouraging phenomena in the midst of a very free and frank expressions of the Awardee children and expressed satisfaction that they are so eager and enthusiastic to achieve their goals in life. This is indeed a very welcome improvement in their mind set which the Trust has been striving to arouse in them. Interalia, the Chairman indicated that the Trust will create an Alumni Association when the numberof Awardees reach 50 and he hoped that these DIGJYOTIANS will carry forward the mission as our brand ambassadors.
Prof. D.P. Ray in his Presidential address recollected his long association with the Trust serving a noble cause in our state. He further indicated that as its activities spread over the state, our scientist Krishi Vigyan Kendras are extending all help and will continue to so. He also reiterated his offer that the Kendras will continue to render timely advice and assistance sought by the children.
Before winding up the business, Dr. Ray advised the awardees to concentrate on their education and try to excel in the field they have chosen which will help them settle in life honourably and be role models as DIGJYOTIANS.