Paradip: Six talented students from economically disadvantaged background were awarded scholarships by the Dr Satyananda Panda Memorial Trust to mark his sixth death anniversary.
The scholarships were handed over at Janata Nodal School, which was established by Dr Panda in his native village Jhimani, located in Kujang block of Jagatsighpur district.
The scholarships, in memory of the noted educationist, social worker and writer from Jagatsinghpur, were
Trophies and cheques were presented to the students by Radharani Tripathy, the sister of Dr Panda, along with Janaki Ballabha Mohanty, Head Master of Janata Nodal School, former teacher Kishore Chandra Panda, along with members of the Trust Dwarika Prasad Tripathy, Nimain Charan Choudhury and Prakash Chandra Panda.
Those who received the scholarships included three students who completed matriculation from Janata Nodal School — Shubhashri Sahu and Rudra Samantray, presently studying in SVM College, Jagatsinghpur, and Shubhasmita Naik, who is studying in Adikabi Saraladas College, Tirtol.
The others are from Narayan Birabara Samant College in Jhimani, established under the patronage of Dr Panda — Dipak Swain, Subhasmita Das and Subhasmita Swain (presently studying in Sailabala College, Cuttack).
A total of 27 meritorious students have been awarded scholarships by the trust so far.
Dr Panda was the first person from the state to obtain a doctoral degree in Anthropology, with research focused on the fishermen community of coastal Odisha.
He dedicated his life to serving society, forsaking his career as a faculty member at Utkal University to establish and mentor numerous educational institutions in and around his village. He also worked with displaced landowners in the industrial belt of Paradip and was involved with various organisations.
Dr Panda edited at least 10 magazines, contributed articles to numerous journals and newspapers, and authored two books.