Bhubaneswar: Veteran Odia playwright, jatra actor and director Ananta Ojha breathed his last this evening after a prolonged fight with cancer.
Ojha, who was undergoing treatment for mouth cancer at a private hospital in Bengaluru died this evening as he failed to respond to treatment despite best of the efforts by a team of doctors, hospital sources told reporters.
The noted playwright who was 59 years at the time of his death ruled Jollywood (Odia jatra/theatre) for about three decades.
He has scripted over 200 popular plays and had directed many of them. His long list of popular plays include ‘Jianta Saba’, Kanseikhana’, ‘Bideshini’, ‘Maichia Gokhei Sahu’ among others.
Several Jatra groups and actors owe it to Ojha for their success.
Ojha who was suffering from mouth cancer had undergone a surgery earlier at a private hospital in Bengaluru in 2013 but unfortunately, the disease relapsed.
About two and a half month back he was again admitted to the private hospital in Bengaluru after relapse of the disease.
Following media reports of him facing shortage of money for treatment, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had sanctioned a sum of Rs 1 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) for his treatment.
Several others too had extended their help to Ojha for his treatment.
The State government’s Culture department had earlier sanctioned Rs 50,000 for his treatment from the Artist Relief Fund
A pall of gloom has descended on Jollywood after news broke on Ojha’s death.