Bhubaneswar, May 9, 2021: Rajya Sabha MP and eminent sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra passes away of COVID-19 at the age of 78 in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
Mahapatra was undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-Bhubaneswar.
Naik, a four-time BJP MLA from Bhawanipatna, was admitted to AIIMS on April 20 after he tested positive for Covid-19.
He was shifted to the ICU on April 26. Mohapatra, a Padma Vibhushan awardee, has been hospitalised for more than two weeks.
Odisha CM condoles death after Raghunath Mohapatra passes away
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed deep condolences at Raghunath Mohapatra’s demise.
“International sculptor and Member of Parliament Raghunath Mohapatra’s demise has hurt me deeply. His contribution for Odisha’s art and culture remains unmatched and will always be remembered. I pray for peace to his immortal soul and offer deep condolences for his family,” said Naveen Patnaik.
Life and works of Raghunath Mohapatra
Raghunath Mohapatra, born March 23, 1943, was a noted architect and sculptor who was awarded the Padma Shri in 1975 and Padma Bhushan in 2001.
He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2013 on the 64th Republic day of India.
Born in Puri, Mohapatra was awarded Padma Shri by the then President of India Fakiruddin Ali Ahmed in 1976 and honoured with the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in 2001 by former president K.R. Narayan.
Due to his sustained commitment to the cause of culture and sculpture, he was nominated by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, as a member of prestigious Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in 2000.
Mohapatra was an expert on the different patterns of temple design, traditional ornamentation of both cultural and aesthetic aspects for acknowledge authority on stone carving and designing.
Notably, he has been serving as a senior instructor and superintendent of Handicraft training & designing center, Government of Odisha, Bhubaneswar since 1963.
Raghunath Mohapatra’s sons undergoing treatment
Mohapatra’s sons, Prashant and Jasobant are also undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to Jasobant, to enquire about their health a couple of days back.
“Mohapatra was in the ICU. His condition deteriorated this afternoon and the noted sculptor gave up in the battle against Covid,” an AIIMS source said.
Raghunath Mohapatra passes away, Governor expresses grief
The governor of Odisha, Ganeshi Lal, tweeted, “Hon’ble Governor is anguished to learn about the sad demise of sculptor of international repute & RajyaSabha Member Sri Raghunath Mohapatra and conveyed his sympathy to his family & friends. He will be eternally remembered for his exquisite sculptures.”
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan expressed deep condolences on Mohapatra’s demise.
“A sculptor of International standards, Mohapatra brought laurels for Odisha. I am heartbroken on hearing the news of his demise,” he said.