Rayagada: It was a welcome worthy of royalty. Villagers of Badamari Bhatta in Kashipur block of Rayagada district beat county drums, blew the trumpet and danced wildly as they welcomed the son of the soil Sunanda Jhodia, who qualified in the UPSC Civil Services Exam 2016 with 1064th rank recently, on Wednesday.
On being informed about Jhodia’s home coming after six years, the people of all ages in this tribal village pitched in to make it an unforgettable event
While many stood with banners with Jhodia’s pictures, women and girls lined up with flowers and incense sticks to welcome Jhodia.
A proud Sambari Jhodia, mother of Sunanda, washed the hands and legs of her son with great delight and received him by feeding him Mandia Jau, a traditional cuisine in South Odisha..
“I am very happy to get my son so close to me after so many years. I have prepared rice, saag and Mandia Jau for him,” said a gushing Sambari.
Soon after reaching the village, Sunanda rushed to the village school and met the students over there and advised them to work hard and study well.
“After completing IIT, I had got a job in a company. But then I realized the purpose of my life. There are many poor people like me. I wanted to do something for them. I thought I can do so only when I am in a position to do so. So, I prepared for the IAS and cleared it with God’s grace. Now, my only aim is to be with them and work for their development, primarily in the area of education, which is the strongest weapon to change the society,” said Jhodia while speaking exclusively to Kalinga TV.
The villagers and several organization felicitated the tribal youth of Kashipur block on his achievement.
An extremely poor area, Kashipur block of Rayagada district was in the news 16 years ago after 22 tribals died post eating rotten mango kernel.