Odisha: CM presents Suraj Award, felicitates Bahanaga train tragedy heroes

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik presented awards to family members of the recipients of Suraj Award on the occasion of World Organ Donation Day and felicitated the volunteers, institutions and response forces for their support during Bahanaga train tragedy, today.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the emergence of human values and compassion just after the Bahanaga incident has re-established our trust in the conscience of our society.

The CM further said, “The incident at Bahanaga reminds us that disasters can strike at anytime and anywhere. We need to enhance the capacities of our response teams and community volunteers to respond to such unpredictable disasters in a better manner. We require being in a constant State of preparedness.”

Recalling the contribution of people and agencies, he said that the people of Bahanaga, local volunteers, institutions and response forces have held our heads high with their timely, selfless service.

The CM offered condolences to the people who lost lives in the accident. He described the incident as a tragedy that shook the nation with numerous deaths, severe injuries, immense pain and unimaginable sufferings. He offered condolences and sympathy to the family members of the deceased.

The CM also congratulated all the volunteers and organisations who were felicitated. He appreciated the role of the district administration led by Balasore Collector. The role of people and administration during the tragedy will be remembered for all the time to come, he added.

At the outset, the CM said that today is the day to realise the value of service and sacrifice in society. It’s a day to reset our goal to a beautiful future.

Congratulating all, he said that service to people and helping others during the time of need brings self satisfaction. It makes our life meaningful.

The CM also thanked family members of the recipients of Suraj Award. Late Master Sudhanshu Sekhar Lenka of Jagatsinghpur district, Late Tanuja Kar of Cuttack district, and Late Prasenjit Mohanty of Bhubaneswar received the Suraj Award.  Their vital organs were to save precious human lives. Thanking the family members of Suraj Award winners, the CM said that they will always be remembered for their inspiring and exemplary humanitarian act. The family members of Suraj Award winners received a cash award of Rs 5 lakh each.

The CM also paid tributes to late Suraj Behera on whose name this award is instituted and said that the sacrifice made by his parents has encouraged organ donation in the State. They have set an inspiring example for society.

Revenue & Disaster Management Minister Pramila Mallick described the tragedy and immense courage of the people who came out in large numbers to rescue and save lives.

Health & Family Welfare Minister Niranjan Pujari also spoke about the incident and the role of local people and district administration. Both the ministers spoke about the leadership of the Chief Minister.

Among those who were felicitated are ODRAF, NDRF, 108 Ambulance, AIIMS Bhubaneswar, SCBMCH Cuttack, BMC Bhubaneswar, Fire & Emergency Services, Collector and SP Balasore, Fakir Mohan Medical College Balasore, Balasore DHH, North Odisha Chamber of Commerce, several voluntary and charitable organisations, social workers and individual volunteers.

Collector Balasore, sharing his experience in the aftermath of the tragedy, said that the entire State and district administration swung into action to save as many lives as possible. He said that all the senior officers and 5T Secretary monitored the situation round-the-clock. Zero casualty model of CM was followed all through this humongous exercise, he added.

Pruthvi Ranjan Behera, President of Adarsh Juba Parishad of Soro in Balasore said that he was one of the first witnesses of the incident. He described the support to rescue operation, organization of blood donation camp and everything they did to save people.

Mrudu Manjari Mohapatra, wife of Suraj Award recipient late Prasenjit Mohanty of Bhubaneswar describing her experience said at the time of despair, she decided to save lives of other humans by donating the vital organs of her husband who lost his life and declared brain dead by doctors.

Chief Secretary PK Jena, Secretary to CM (5T) VK Pandian and other senior officers were present.

SRC and ACS Revevenue & DM Satyabrata Sahu gave the welcome address and MD OSDMA proposed the vote of thanks.

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