Padma Shri awardee Daitari Naik, who single-handedly carved a 3-km-long canal from a mountain stream in Odisha, has alleged that the honour conferred upon him has no value.
''Padma Shri award did not help me in any way. My work was not really appreciated," says Naik who was confererd one of the highest civilian honours in 2019.
Also known as 'canal man of Odisha', Naik alleged that he is not getting any work, and that he and his family are selling Kendu leaves and mango papad to eke out a living.
"People are not giving me any work now. Rather we are now making our living by selling Kendu leaves and mango papad," he said.
Talking about the difficulties the villagers face in his village, Naik rued that there is no hospital in the village, people are being provided muddy water to drink, and he could do nothing despite being a Padma awardee.
"The Padma Shri award didn't help me in any ways, rather people are not giving me any work now. We are selling kendu leaves & 'amba sadha' (mango papad) to eke out a living," alleges Daitari Naik who single-handedly carved a 3-km-long canal from a mountain stream #Odisha pic.twitter.com/2sX0tV6w7N— OTV (@otvnews) June 24, 2019
The 70- year-old man gained prominence, when he carved out a three-kilometre canal from the Gonasika mountains so that the water stream could irrigate the parched land below, in the wake of lack of water in his village, which was causing a big trouble to him and the people of his village.
He hails from village Baitarani under Banspal block of Keonjhar district of Odisha.