Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 12
Popular Odisha film celebrity Dr Sarat Pujari is no more.
The veteran Ollywood actor, director and former president of Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy died of a massive heart attack early Monday morning at a private hospital here, family sources said.
He was 81.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik and governor SC Jamir have expressed profound grief over the sad demise of Pujari.
“The state lost a stalwart actor and ardent culture lover”, the governor said in his condolence message.
In his message, the chief minister said the state lost a talented actor and educationist.
Beginning his acting career in the tenth Odia film ‘Sri Sri Mahalaxmi Puja’ Dr Pujari entered the Odias film industry in 1958 while serving as a teacher in a private college in western Odisha.
Since then he acted in about 50 films.
He was a young man at heart, an artist with a rich taste
Well-known filmmaker and academic Nirad N Mohapatra while expressing his grief over Dr Pujari’s sad demise told OST, “Sarat Babu’s demise has come as a great shock. I had known him since 1974 when he attended the screening of my first documentary “ Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa” in I & PR Department’s auditorium. He was a man young at heart and in spite of his failing health, he attended all important cultural events and gave us the impression that he was fit as a fiddle. Although he did work for the mainstream cinema, his heart was in the other kind of cinema. His enthusiasm for good cinema and his camaraderie with the younger generation was a hallmark of his personality. ”
(source : en.wikipedia.org)
Sarat Pujari was born on 8 August 1934 at Khandapada, Nayagarh district, Odisha. His early education was completed in many schools all over Odisha. He completed his post graduation in Economics and Diploma in Paintings in Allahabad University in 1956.
After completing his education he started his career as a block designer and Publicity agent. In 1959, He joined as a lecturer in Economics in Panchayat College, Bargarh which he quit in 1966. Then, He joined Tapang Light Foundery, Nayagarh as a Works Manager.
He started his career as an actor in the sixties. He left service and became a free-lance film actor from September 1966 to September 1968 to learn the technique of Film-making. After that he was principal at the young age of 34 in Larambha College, Bargarh. Pujari was nominated by the State Govt of Odisha as member of the Orissa Sangeeta Natak Academy, Member of the Board of Director of Film Development Corporation of Odisha, Cuttack. He retired as a principal of Sangeet Nataka college, Bhubaneswar.
Pujari became very interested in drama and other performing arts during his time as a student. At that time the Oriya film industry was not as developed as it is today, producing no more than one film each year. At that time he was offered a role in film Laxmi puja. After that there was no looking back. At one point Pujari was the star of the Oriya film industry. He has acted in about 40 films, as well as some television serials. He has also directed few Oriya films, including Tapoi and Ashanta graha.
The Government of Odisha conferred upon him the “Jayadev Award of 1985” for his significant contribution to Oriya Film Industry. He was also honored with first Hemant Das Kala Samman Award, Kadambini Samman Awards for 2010 & Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award for the year 2007. Now he occasionally acts in films and television soap operas. He also played a negative role in the International award winning movie called Bhukha in (1989).
(With IANS inputs)