Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: JSPL Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), on Wednesday felicitated 33 artisans and craftsmen from Puri, who are engaged every year to construct Lords’ chariots for the Rath Yatra Festival, with the second Swayamsiddh Samman.These Rath Shilpis were honoured for their dedication and unmatched skill in building the grand chariots by Guruji Srimad Budha Bapa at Bhubaneswar in presence of president of Lalit Kala Akademi Raghunath Mohapatra and president of JSPL Foundation Shallu Jindal.
The Samman was presented in collaboration with Raghunath Mohapatra Art & Craft Foundation, which supported in selection of the artisans and craftsmen.Each artisan was given a financial support of Rs.10,000.
Introducing the award, Shallu Jindal said that “within a very short span of time these artisans and craftsmen make grand chariots for the Lord’s car festival.Their age old skill is unique in nature and they certainly deserve appreciation.Conferring the second Swayamsiddh Samman to them is an attempt by JSPL Foundation to recognise and encourage their service to the Lord.” She also informed that JSPL Foundation is actively considering financial support for social security of senior artisans who have dedicated their life to the cause. Honouring the Rath Shilpis is first of its kind in Odisha.
They have been selected on the basis of their seniority and years of service for the devotional cause.Raghunath Mohapatra appreciated the efforts of JSPL Foundation and its president for her noble gesture in honouring the Rath Shilpis.It is to be noted that every year these Rath Shilpis build the chariots – Taladhawaja, Darpa Dalana and Nandighosha – with immaculate craftsmanship and artistry.
These three grand chariots are also constructed within a short span of time, in about two months, from Akshaya Tritiya to Sri Gundicha.The chariots are itself massive pieces of art, adorned with numerous designs and patterns. Swayamsiddh Samman has been instituted by JSPL Foundation to recognise and reward grassroots action leaders at individual levels.Last year, this Samman was presented to 20 individuals and 9 self-help groups from different districts of Odisha, for their exemplary courage, commitment and confidence that has enabled them to overcome adversities and create a unique identity of their own, making them a source of inspiration for others.