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The prestigious Shambhavi Puraskar, 2017 was persented to Hari Sankar Rout for his outstanding contribution towards social change.
The award carrying a trophy, citation and a cash prize of Rs 2.5 lakh was presented by Union Minister of state for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy at a function here last night.
The Shambhavi Puraskar was instituted in 2014 by Bansidhar and Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF).
Rout, an engineer by profession, has been working in inaccessible pockets of Kandhamal district of Odisha on natural resource management and livelihood promotion of marginalised communities, foundation said in a statement.
His significant contribution is installation of a 7.5 KW micro-hydroelectric project, diverting water from a stream through pipeline to Dangarpadar village of Tumudibandha Block. This ensures 24 hour electricity supply, water for domestic use and diversion based irrigation, it said.
As founder secretary of Social Welfare Agency and Training Institute (SWATI), Rout has undertaken programmes like plantation-based livelihood, management of land, water, forest and biological resources for sustained agricultural productivity and providing assistance and training in both on-farm and off-farm activities to ensure livelihood promotion of primitive tribal groups like kutia kandhas residing at Belghar in Kandhamal.
Rudy congratulated Rout for his contribution to society and expressed deep appreciation for BIPF for instituting the Shambhavi Puraskar.
Speaking on the occasion Shaifalika Panda, CEO, BIPF said it is hoped that Rout's success would pave the way for others to venture into social uplift.