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Srikant Panda, veteran social worker, activist and editor of Asantakali is no more

Kolkota(ONT Bureau) 7/3/17:Srikant Panda, veteran social worker, activist and editor of Asantakali is no more. He breathed his last due to cardiac arrest last night in Kolkata home. Panda who was one of the few trusted persons of Biju Patnaik was associated with Kalinga Tubes as the Commercial Manager until it changed hands and handed over to IMFA group .
Mr Panda gave a new look to Asantakali by not only developing its look , but also making it the first feature based Odia illustrated magazine Srikant Babu was actively involved with several socio-cultural organizations of Kolkata and West Bengal. For the first time he had introduced remuneration for the writers who were contributing writings to Asantakali.
He campaigned for odia text books and substantial salary for students and teachers of all odia medium schools in Paschima Bango..He was leading Lolita Utkaliya Mancha in Kolkata for many odia causes
He was an ardent admirer of Biju Patnaik and had preferred to resign from the high post in Kalinga Tubes the very day Dr Banshidhar Panda’s IMFA group took over the company as he was not willing to accept any body other than Biju Patnaik as his master.
After Kalinga Tubes was sold out Mr Panda tried to establish a steel tube mill in Berhampur named as Orissa Tubes and encouraged many educated Odia young men to start industries in the area. Though many entrepreneurs became successful Mr Panda’s venture was to be closed due to want of raw material and other problems.
In the meanwhile Mr Panda had lost his wife Leela and finally decided to go back to Kolkata and serve the Odias living in different parts of the metro . His pr9imery interest was education for the Odia children in their mother tongue and finally succeeded . He was very close to many senior politicians like Dr Damodar Rout, Srikant Jena, Bijoy Mohapatra, Sarat Kumar Kar, Surendra Nath Nayak, Prafulla Chandra Ghadei, Late Natabar Pradhan, Ashok Das and many others.
He has left behind his only son Prasant and daughter Budhi with grand children.. He was a native of Balasore town.
His death has come as a blow to the literary, cultural and social circles in the State and has been mourned by thousand friends and admirers.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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