Necessity is the mother of invention. Consequently, the devastation from cyclones in Odisha established the resolve of inventing a reliable warning system in a small boy’s mind for a safer future ahead.

In 1971, a furious cyclone hit the Indian East coast and caused widespread devastation in the coastal villages of Odisha. In many villages lives came to a
standstill and uncertainty loomed large. Widespread destruction and ravaged crops stared at an uncertain future. Along with thousands of people this boy spent more than a year without proper food. He could not forget the heart wrenching imageries of the massive destruction and took an oath: “One day I would ‘tame’ cyclones and save lives”. As a grown man he came to live up to this promise. Today, he is popularly known as “The cyclone man of India”. He is our revered Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra. The now Director General (DG), Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Dr Mohapatra Joined the IMD in 1992, and since then he has dedicatedly worked on modernization of infrastructure to predict cyclones and act upon the warning systems with accuracy, reliability and evaluation. Consequently, today due to his will power and hard work, India is able to undertake precautionary action and meets with zero causality in most of the cyclones following 1999.

He says “It pays to invest in science; it saves money and lives”. A PhD in Physics, Mohapatra has received many national and international awards including the Young Scientist Award of the Ministry of Earth Sciences and Achievers Award from
the IMD for his research and service in the field of atmospheric sciences.

VARINDIA pays him compliment as a valuable Crown Jewels of Odisha.

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