Published On: Sat, Jul 16th, 2016

Odisha Society of the Americas celebrated 47th Annual Convention at Rhodes Island, USA

osaProvidence: More than 1200 Odias from different parts of the world including from US, Canada and India came together for a three days long ( July 1st – July 3rd, 2016) celebration of Odia Culture and Heritage in Providence, Rhodes Island, USA for 47th OSA Annual Convention. The Convention was attended by many distinguished guests from Americas as well as from Odisha. Award winning author Dr. Ramachandra Behera, social activist Dr. Sruti Mohapatra, and Dy Consul General Dr. Manoj Mohapatra joined as Chief Guest, Keynote Speaker and Guest of Honor for the occasion. Convention was inaugurated by Dr. Jogeswar Rath, one of the pioneering members of OSANE chapter.

OSA President Mr. Sushant Satpathy shared the decision of the Govt. of Odisha to facilitate certification of Odia Language for NROs and the progress made in notification of 2001 Odisha Public Library Act. OSA Vice-President, Mrs. Sulochana Patnaik, OSA Secretary, Mr. Saradakanta Panda and OSA Treasurer, Mr. Siddharth Behera conducted various meetings involving OSA official business. On this occasion, Dr. Sruti Mohapatra was recognized with OSA Life Time Achievement Award. OSA also recognized few of its pioneering members with Annual OSA Awards; Mr. Mihira Rath, Mrs. Niharika Mohanty and Mr. Akash Pattnaik were recognized with OSA’s Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das Memorial Award, Arun Das Memorial Kalashree Award and Subrina Biswal Award for Academic Excellence respectively.
During the convention, many artists of international repute such as Mr. Rituraj Mohanty of Zee’s Raw Star fame, singer Ms. Amrita Panda of Indian Idol fame and contemporary dancer Mr. Harihar Das of India Got Talent fame, award winning playback singer Ms. Nazia Alam and internationally famed Odissi Dancer, Mrs. Sujata Mohapatra enthralled the audience with their performance. There were many individual and group participations of Odias in the Diaspora in the cultural program. Both adult and youth showcased their multifaceted cultural talent in Odissi, folk dance, drama, Champu and Chhanda and contemporary music. On this occasion the diaspora celebrated birth centenary of two famed sons of the soil, late Biju Patnaik and revolutionary poet late Sachi Routaray. There was a photo exhibition on the contribution of late Biju Patnaik and his contribution for the development of Modern Odisha and there was Odia speech competition on the topic “The Contribution of Biju Patnaik for Modern State of Odisha“. The Odia Kabita Pathachakra was dedicated to legendary late Sachi Routray and started with words of admiration for the late poet.
The 2016 OSA convention seminar team has organized various seminars on
Telemedicine, Dignified Living with Disability, and joint seminars on Digital infrastructure and Public Library for Odisha. In addition, seminars on Entrepreneurship Opportunities, Career planning and youth mentorship, Jagannath Culture, Financial planning, Women empowerment, Odia literature development, Healthy body and mind, Odia drama festival in North America, , were organized. Key panelists and speakers were eminent novelist, Dr. Ramachandra Behera, noted disability activist Dr. Sruti Mohapatra, Indian telecommunication revolutionary Dr. Sam Pitroda, former union secretary MSME & former DG Foreign Trade, Dr. Anup Pujari; Mr. Lalit Das, secretary to the Govt. of Odisha, Dr. Anupam Jena, health policy expert from Harvard medical school, Dr. Sarthak Das, Regional Director Southeast Asia-Pacific at Clinton Health Access Initiative, Prof. H. K. Satapathy, former VC of Rashtriya Sanskrit University, Tirupati, and award-winning author, Dr. Krutibas Nayak; Sri Parimal Bardhan, Sri Prasana Dash, Prof. Anil Saigal, Dr. Suresh Damodaran, Mrs. Seema Mishra in addition to OSA panelists. During the convention, there was an exhibition on Odishan arts, culture, and literature.

Behind this successful convention, lies the selfless effort of a core group of volunteers, led by the convener, Dr. Sourya Mohapatra, co-convener, Mr.Bikash Behera, OSA New England Chapter President, Dr. Arun Mohanty, Cultural Chair Mr. Dillip Behera, Seminar Chair, Mr. Nishikanta Sahoo, Youth Chair, Mr. Sankar Padhi and other core group of volunteers who have been working tirelessly for more than a year.

OSA Annual Convention is time honored annual get-together of Odias under the same roof to celebrate Odia culture and heritage. With the fall of curtains at midnight at the Rhode Island Convention Center on July 3rd, 47th Annual OSA Convention came to a close.

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