To recognize excellence and innovation by emerging social catalysts and thereby encourage more citizens to act as agents of change.
Mr Ratnakar Sahoo

Recipient, Shambhavi Puraskar 2022

Bhubaneswar (District Khurda), Odisha

Ratnakar Sahoo, known for his determination and commitment to uplift underprivileged children with the power of education is a commendable inspiration for today’s youth. As a social worker, it is laudable to see how he used advocacy to vigorously motivate street children towards education and adopting an addiction free life in a sustainable manner.

The work undertaken by his organization “ASHAYEN”, promoting “Bridge Education” and “Sensitization” as ways to empower children belonging to the marginalized section of society is praiseworthy.

Ratnakar’s concept of “Ama-Pathashala” (community learning centres) not only educates school dropouts, but also links deprived children with mainstream education. His grit and passion for the cause is seen in his distinct initiative “Madasala ru Pathasala” under which he successfully convert liquor shops into study centres to conduct evening classes for street children and slum dwellers. With his unrelenting efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic, he aroused the interest of these children in learning by providing digital support and ensured they regularly availed E-education through the Sikshya App.

Within a short span of time, Ratnakar personally connected to their real-time circumstances and developed a framework by taking them on exposure visits and to learn life-skills. His enduring work has resulted in significant behavioural change and children now rely on credible means of living an addiction free life.

Ratnakar’s well-grounded effort in bringing desirable change within these children through a systematic approach of regular sensitization on health, hygiene, balanced nutritional intake and good touch & bad touch; is a magnanimous achievement. This has enabled them to overcome social deprivation and be more confident and aptly deal with strangers.

Ratnakar’s innovative and endless initiatives inclined the Station Manager, staff and coolies at Bhubaneswar Railway Station to be extra vigilant in curbing issues related to child trafficking & abuse. His leadership capability has successfully turned into a mass movement with the participation of volunteers, parents and communities who in-turn act as agents-of-change in the life of these disadvantaged children. 220 children are now on their way to “Give Back” by attracting peers to be part of “Ashayen” ecosystem.

In recognition of his exemplary activities for disadvantaged children, selfless contribution and commitment in the domain of education to educate underprivileged minors in the district of Khorda, the Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF) has the proud privilege of conferring upon Mr Ratnakar Sahoo the Shambhavi Puraskar 2022; which carries a memento, citation and a cash prize of Rs. 2,50,000/-

We wish you all the best in your future endeavours.