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Probe On Kamala Dishonor

Cuttack: While the Members of the Paraja Tribal community in Odisha have called for action against a social worker who allegedly forced its icon, Padma Sri Awardee Kamala Pujari, to dance inside a hospital in Cuttack before she was discharged, SCB Medical College & Hospital Authorities have instituted an Inquiry Panel to probe the serious matter.

Professor and  Head of Department of Medicine Prof. Jayanta Panda will head the Probe Panel.

Prof.Panda said the Probe Panel will summon the social activist and others who were treating the Lady.

The incident came to light after a video, in which the elderly woman was seen dancing in the ICU of a government hospital, went viral.

The social worker, Mamata Behera, was also seen dancing with her.

 “I never wanted to dance but was forced to do it. I repeatedly denied, but she (Ms.Behera) did not listen. I was sick and got tired,” Shrimati Pujari told television channels in Koraput district from where she hails.

Harish Muduli, President of ‘Paraja Samaja’, said its members will hit the streets if the State Government fails to take action against the social worker.

Shrimati  Pujari, who was awarded the Padma Sri in 2019 for promoting organic farming and preserving over 100 varieties of indigenous seeds of different crops including paddy, was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack with kidney problems.

 Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had wished her speedy recovery.

 The incident occurred prior to her discharge from the hospital on Monday.

The hospital authorities said Shrimati Pujari was admitted to a special cabin and not in the ICU.

“The woman who allegedly made her dance used to visit her at the special cabin,” said Dr Abinash Rout, the Registrar (administration) of the hospital.

Shrimati Pujari’s attendant Rajeeb Hial said she does not know Ms.Behera, who had also clicked several selfies with the Padma Sri awardee.

Ms.Behera, on her part, claimed she had no bad intention behind the act, and just wanted to “shun Shrimati Pujari’s laziness”.

Shrimati Pujari belongs to the Paraja community, a major Scheduled Tribe of Odisha, which comprise around 4 per cent of the state’s tribal population.

Odisha has several Tribal Communities and 11 districts are home to these people.