To recognize excellence and innovation by emerging social catalysts and thereby encourage more citizens to act as agents of change.
Sri. Dinabandhu Maharana

Recipient, Shambhavi Puraskar 2019

Kandhamal, Odisha

Mr Dinabandhu Maharana, an extraordinary individual has, through his sheer grit and determination, brought about a positive change in the lives of the people residing in the Kandhamal District of Odisha. He has instilled a sense of ‘community ownership’ in this remote and tribal area. His organization ‘Kandhamal Zilla Sabuj Vaidya Sangathan’ (KZSVS) runs a program for creating and managing public infrastructure in the region and uses the innovative concept of Cloth for Work (CFW). CFW pays beneficiaries for their labor in the form of clothes, shoes and other basic necessities, instead of cash. It is because of Mr Maharana’s efforts on collaborations and inclusiveness that the community willingly came together to work, manage and own this project as their own.

Mr Maharana, a qualified Vaidya, started the CFW initiative in April 2008 from a small village called Dipumaha in Daringibadi block. He took it upon himself to bring about changes in the area with regards to the difficulties the community experienced as a result of a lack of connectivity and accessibility. So far, this initiative has covered 405 villages in Daringibadi, K. Nuagaon, and Kotgarh Blocks of the Kandhamal District. The infrastructure assets they have created include new roads and wooden bridges. They have also repaired existing village roads and renewed dug wells. They have developed ponds and irrigation infrastructure for a year-round water supply for irrigation as well as domestic purposes. The villages now have better connectivity with other parts of the district, which has resulted in the socio-economic prosperity of the communities.

In recognizing the outstanding contribution and achievements of Mr Dinabandhu Maharana towards improving public infrastructure in the tribal areas of Kandhamal District, the Bansidhar and Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF) has the proud privilege of conferring upon him the “Shambhavi Puraskar” 2019.

We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.