Hailing from a tribal hilly village surrouded by forests, this man was not intrigued easily by power, position or recognition. Driven by a strong will to make water available in his village, this 70 years old man craved out a 3 kilometre long canal from a mountain stream to water his and his neighbouring fields. His efforts soon paid off and now waters about 100 acres of land around his village.

He is Daitari Naik, a simple and a hardworking farmer, who belongs to a community of forest dwellers depending on cultivation as a means of livelihood. Many villages in this tribal dominated Banspal block of Keonjhar District mostly depend on rain water for cultivation and use dirty water from stream and pond for
drinking. Several check dams were constructed in different streams in these areas but they soon went dry. Daitari took it upon himself to bring water to their rocky terrain and brought in his community members to dig the canal with just hoes and digging bars. After four years of their hard work, the village no longer faces any kind of water shortage now. People around Baitarani village are also not dependent on any other water sources.

Mr Daitari is now an inspiration to the nearby villages. He soon set a good example for them, resulting in the nearby villages putting in efforts to get natural water from streams. For his exemplary work, Mr Daitari was conferred with the fourth highest civilian honour – Padma Shri.

This Man popularly got recognized as the Mountain Man of Odisha for his unwavering willpower towards the betterment of his community. He is also often called the Canal Man of Odisha.

VARINDIA salutes his willpower and love for community by conferring him The Crown Jewels of Odisha title.

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