OSA Publications

Utkarsa August 2003 (Past Issue)
Utkarsa October 2003 (Past Issue)
Utkarsa January 2004 (Past Issue)
Utkarsa March-April 2004 (Past Issue)
Utkarsa August 2004 (Current Issue)
A Dream That We Dream Together (Editorial)
Creating Success Stories (President's Message)
Convention Expense Report
OSA Awardees
GBM 2004 Minutes
NRO Divas in Bhubaneswar
Accepted Amendments
OSA Convention 2004 (Stories/Report)
Chapter News

OSA 2004 Seminar Report

Oriya Poetry Reading

Articles (Poems, Rakhi Special - Seneha Suruja)

Announcements (Congratulations, News, Obituaries)
August-September 2004 Special (For Kids)



OSA 2004 Convention  

OSA 2004 convention was held in Dallas, Texas. The convener Dr Niranjan Tripathy has done a very commendable job. His leadership and tireless work during the convention contributed a lot for the success of the convention. No words would be enough for his appreciation.  OSA completed 35 years of existence and another history was made with another convention. Many people created their own stories of convention while being part of the history. Here are the reports. 


35th OSA Convention held in Dallas, July 2-4, 2004

Dr Sitakantha Dash, Minnesota

35th Orissa Society of Americas (OSA) Convention was a great success and it brought 160 Oriya families and about 600 Oriyas to Dallas, Texas during the weekend of July 2-4, 2004.

Hilton DFW Executive Conference Center was the venue. It was a wonderful facility and the room rate was very reasonable. All functions – seminars, cultural programs, dining took place in the same hotel.

Invest Orissa Symposium was organized on July 2 as a preconvention event. Dr. Rabi Mohapatra, Professor at Texas A&M organized the symposium. Topics included Business Prospects in Orissa, Business Challenges in Orissa, Business Risks in Orissa and Financial Issues and others.

The evening ended with classical music by famous Indrajit Banerjee on sitar, Gouri Shankar on tabla, and mehfil.

Before the inaugural function on July 3 at 10 AM, Mangalika, Spiritual Discourse, Kabita Patha, and Economic Development Seminars were organized.

The inaugural function highlighted Dr. Kabi Misra, the expert on Bhanja Sahitya and Jagannath Culture, Mr. Sahadeva Sahoo, former Chief Secretary of Orissa, current Vice Chancellor of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology and NRO Cell Coordinator, Mr. Patitapaban Pradhan, MP and Mr. Amarendra Khatua, Minister at Ambassador at Large. Dr. Kabi Misra spoke on our rich Oriya culture and encouraged all NROs to contribute to Orissa for its development.

Southwest Chapter members provided the inaugural cultural program – Bridges: connecting Cultures, Generations and Traditions.

Distinguished Oriya award was presented to Jagannath Das (Canada), Kalashree awards to Lata Misra and Arun Das, Gopabandhu Award for Orissa Development to Ranu Mohanty.

The major event of Saturday was Guru Kelucharan Memorial Ceremony. Dr. Purna Patnaik gave the introduction. A confluence of Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odissi and Kuchipudi produced by Meenakshi Seshadri and Alliance of Classical Indian Dancers of North Texas was presented. It was an outstanding program by a non-Oriya group.

Our top Odissi dancer and student of late Kelucharan Mohapatra, Nandita Behera from California presented Odissi dance – Abhinaya as a tribute to her Guru. Dr. S.K.Dash takes pride for initiating this event with the convention committee.

The afternoon seminars included workshop on parenting challenges, biotech and youth professional.

Dr. Subas Mohapatra arranged Subirna Biswal Award competition. This award has been established by OSA in the name of late Subrina Biswal, daughter of Dr. Nilambar Biswal and Mrs. Anu Biswal. The annual cash award of $1000.00 has been made possible by the generous contribution of Dr. Sitakantha Dash and the Biswal family.

After dinner, featured artists Mr. Prafulla Kar, Priyambada Mishra, Patnaik Sisters, Sanjukta Mishra and others provided the cultural program. Mamuni Tripathy and Prachi Mishra provided outstanding Kathak dance.

Mehfil continued up to 3 AM and it was most enjoyable.

Sunday morning program started with Mangalika, Spiritual Discourse by Swamiji on Sanatana Dharma.

The touching story of late Fakir Mohan Senapati as a documentary was presented by Mrs. Monica Das. Orissa Society of Americas under the leadership of the then OSA President Dr. S.K.Dash, Dr. Nitin Joshi and local leader Rabindra Das has spent years of time and money to establish Fakir Mohan Senapati University in Balasore.

General Body Meeting started at 10 AM under the president ship of Dr. Laxmi Narayan Bhuyan, the OSA President and ended at 12.30 PM. The amendments to OSA constitution proposed by Dr. S.K.Dash and Dr. Amiya Mohanty were passed. The major amendments are: Separation of OSA Secretary and Treasurer position to OSA Secretary and OSA Treasurer. OSA Secretary, besides handling OSA minutes, will coordinate with NRO Cell in Orissa. OSA Treasurer along with two other members appointed by the OSA President will manage OSA investments. The Treasurer will also supervise convention finances.

The Vice President will act as co-convener and will be in charge of OSA awards.

The chapter president and his/her representatives must be OSA members in good standing. Failure to report funds raised in the name of OSA violates the IRS rules and regulations, and is subject to IRS action.

An Election Committee was appointed which is headed by Mr. Raju Pati (Wisconsin).

President Bhuyan announced the establishment of NRO Cell by Orissa Chief Minister. Mr. Sahadeva Sahoo will be the coordinator. NRO Cell will conduct among other things – Utkal Divas and OSA Symposium.

The next year's convention will be hosted by the California Oriya group in Disneyland area. Mrs. and Mr. Kirtan Behera, Mrs. and Dr. Purna Patnaik, Mrs. and Mr. Prasanna Panda and others made the announcement on behalf of California Oriya group.

After lunch Dr. Kabi Misra spoke on Bhanja Sahitya. He not only revealed his expertise on the subject but also made it very interesting and entertaining. Everyone enjoyed his presentation and are looking forward to his next presentation in near future.

The other seminar of Sunday afternoon included Volunteering in North America, Health and Physical Therapy.

A tribute was given to Jitendra Haripal of Rangabati fame and a short documentary was presented. Sambalpuri song by Sanjukta Mishra and Sambalpuri dance by Krishnaveni and group were presented.

Pramod Patnaik Inter-Chapter competition took place in Texas Grand Auditorium area. Participants were from Michigan, California, Washington DC, Dallas, Houston and Ozark chapters.

Chha Dokana – an authentic oriya short drama presented by Dr. Brajendra Panda and his group from Ozark got the first prize.

After dinner, cultural program started with songs by Sanjukta Mishra, Prafulla Kar, Debaki Nandan Choudhury and others, and dance by Lara Mishra.

Lata Mishra and Manoranjan Pattnayak presented Patent Medicine, the famous drama by late Fakir Mohan Senapati. It was a great performance by these great artists.

Mehfil continued to 3.30 AM with a group dance headed by convener Dr. Niranjan Tripathy.

The souvenir is a master piece. The 2004 OSA Directory has updated names and addresses of OSA members.

The dinner/lunch for Saturday and Sunday were very good.

The success was due to the combined efforts of the Southern Chapter members and others under the leadership of Dr. Niranjan Tripathy, Convener, Mr. Tapan Padhi, Co-Convener, Mrs. Swati Tripathy, Cultural Committee, Dr. Laxmi Narayan Bhuyan, President, Mr. Hari Arjuna Patro, Secretary-Treasurer and Bigyani Das, Editor.


By Dr Digambar Mishra Birmingham, Alabama

First, it is with great pleasure that I wish to extend my deep appreciation to the organizers of the 35th OSA Convention in Dallas, Texas. We indeed are grateful to Dr. Niranjan Tripathy, the convener, for providing an outstanding leadership. The production quality of the souvenir and the address directory is excellent. The persons in charge deserve our congratulations. The warmth and hospitality of all the members from the South-West Chapter were fabulous. Undoubtedly, the distinguished OSA President, Dr. Laxmi Narayan Bhuyan, and the OSA Secretary, Mr. Hari A. Patro, have tried their best to take our esteemed organization to a higher plateau. The Editor-in Chief, Dr. Bigyani Das, must be complimented for being very innovative in naming the OSA Newsletter as Utkarsa. Dr. Nivedita Mohanty, the Vice President, is widely acknowledged to be a dignified team player.

Chester Barnard, long time and eminent American business executive, has held in his classic book " The Functions of the Executive," that the only objective test of efficiency survival. It is an important thought that should be widely pondered relative to our dear OSA. Other tests of efficiency are largely if not wholly subjective, reflecting special values of individuals or groups. One person may regard that the  OSA is most efficient because it saves most membership dues in the bank. A charge of inefficiency often refers to not keeping most of the membership dues in bank. It nearly always means that efficiency is being considered in terms of some special criteria not identical with the individual values. Suffice to say that the OSA has survived for thirty-five years and is doing all right.

The editor has been very gracious to ask me to record my experiences at the Convention. I know there are shortcomings as well as advantages of being strictly an  observer. I learned long ago the important differences between the views of an observer and the views of those informed by their intimate involvement with the officials running an organization. Let me just record a few things that I observed at the Convention.

1. The 35th Convention was heavily attended by young folks, especially the computer professionals. Almost all of them saw the OSA president and his advisors as their gurus in high tech. Seminars in computer and high-tech areas were naturally preferred over the issues - social, political, economic - that traditionally received importance beginning with the Nashville convention in 1989. In that convention, I was in charge of holding seminars and, together, we offered quality seminars for youth, women, high-tech personnel, and seniors. I believe this tradition continued until the 2002 Convention (hosted by the Maryland-Virginia Chapter). Regretfully, the organizers rejected the proposal to have a seminar for women. All of them were very disrespectful to women. The 2003 Convention in New Jersey (hosted by OSANY) tried its best to hold all seminars but the allocated time slots had serious conflicts. The Dallas Convention just did not pay any attention to the women's seminar at all. However, other seminars were held simultaneously that deprived many folks to miss one or the other.

We humbly submit that, in future, the organizers should show respect to Oriya women by having them organize a seminar at a time slot that will not have cultural programs or other sessions. It is appropriate, perhaps very urgent, that we organize three seminars - youth, women, and general - neatly and with dignity. Traditionally, these three have been organized by the OSA officials, of course, in cooperation with the host chapter.

2. A number of changes were proposed in form of amendments to the existing OSA Constitution at the general body meeting. As a matter of fact, all amendments were ratified by a handful of members present and voting. Since some of the amendments, including the one to have a three-member committee headed by the newly created Treasurer ( the other two to be appointed by the president) are of far reaching consequences, they should have been sent by mail to all voting members. While we do not want to overly legalistic, the "Quorum" issue can not be ignored.

Moreover, it is unwise not to have the president and the immediate past president as members of this very important committee. My suggestions were rejected.

3. It appears the president is very reluctant to spend money in critical areas at the Convention for fear of criticism. He must be complimented for raising nearly $12,000 within a year. I feel good that we finally voted to give $5,000 to the host chapter to supplement the cost of the Souvenir.

I would like to suggest that the elected officials continue vigorous campaign to recruit members in different categories and spend a reasonable amount in the hospitality area -coffee, tea, soft drinks, and snacks- to serve those who spend a lot of money to celebrate the Oriya pride at the annual convention. It does not make much sense to save all the money for the future.

I know I was heavily criticized by a handful of my fellow members for spending money to bring invitees from Orissa during my tenure. I respectfully heard them but I had an ambition to raise the stature of the organization. Well, if you raise money you can seek a mandate to spend some of it.

Finally, I must end with a positive note by thanking those of us who make it a point to attend the OSA conventions regularly. Many of us are graying and our regular attendance might be affected sooner or letter. Therefore, I would like to appeal to our younger friends to get passionately involved with the OSA and become a part of the community celebration at the convention each year. We must love our dear OSA.

The 35th annual OSA convention - A Report by Tapan Padhi, Co-Convener

The 35th annual OSA convention was held in Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Dallas during July 2 – July 4. OSA South West Chapter presented three days of fun filled cultural program and activities with emphasis on Oriya ancestral pride and Oriya culture, conducted seminar/symposiums of critical importance to growth of Orissa and above all served delicious Oriya food to all attendees. Information about this year OSA Convention in Dallas can be found in website: www.osa2004.org.

On Friday July 2, many Oriya entrepreneurs, potential investors, industry representatives, and Orissa/India government representatives attended “Invest Orissa Symposium”. The focus of the symposium was to recognize Bhubaneswar, as an attractive venue for IT related investment. Professor Rabi Mohapatra of Texas A&M University chaired the program, Mr Ashok Khuntia and Mr. Tapan Padhi coordinated the program arrangements and representatives from Infosys, Satyam , NRI Entrepreneurs conducted discussion panels. Issues, constraints and practical viewpoints of experienced Entrepreneurs about investing in Orissa were identified and discussed. Veteran Oriya diplomats Mr. Sahadev Sahoo and Mr. Amrendra Khatua provided valuable inputs.

Early morning Bhajan Session and spiritual discourses by Swami Shranananda of Chicago provided the pious beginning of the convention each day. The activities for the day followed packed with many planned seminars, poetry reading sessions conducted by Mrs Arati Pati and Mrs Bigyani Das and various cultural programs.

Inaugural program started on Saturday, July 3, 10 AM. Dr. Niranjan Tripathy – Convener, formally inaugurated the convention by welcoming the attendees and invited guests. Dr. Laxminarayan Bhuyan – President presided the meeting. Mr. Hari Arjun Patro – Secretary/Treasurer presented the OSA report and distributed the awards. Invited Guests Dr. Kabi Prasad Mishra, Mr. Amarendra Khatua and Mr Patitapaban Pradhan gave the keynote speech. Mr Tapan Padhi – Co-Convener gave the vote of thanks.

Inaugural cultural program set the tone of the convention by astounding performance by participants from Southwest Chapter. The theme of the convention “BRIDGES”, symbolic cultural link between older generation and new generation, was scripted by Shri Gurukrushna Goswami and musically composed by renowned Oriya music director Shri Shantanu Mohapatra. Variations on this theme were played through collaborative efforts between the host and other chapters. “BARA MASA TERA PARBA” (Twelve months and thirteen Festivals), a dance and song medley performed by local members and their families, was the highlight of the inaugural program.

A special session was dedicated to paying tribute to the life and achievements of Padma Bibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, with Odissi dance by Nandita Behera and Patnaik Sisters, live Odissi song, slide show, posters and prayers. The highly impressive “Ganesha Vandana” was choreographed by Meenakshi Seshadri and was performed by Indian classical dance teachers and students of DFW metropolis.

A special screening session was conducted for a critically acclaimed film on Fakir Mohan Senapati. Director-producer Ms Monica Das, Professor of Economics in Delhi University who also happens to be the great grand daughter of Fakir Mohan Senapati, presented this Door Darshan Award winning documentary film. Born in Balasore, Vyasa Kabi Fakir Mohan Senapati (1843-1918) has considerable repute as poet, scholar, and social reformer and is regarded as the father of original Oriya fiction.

Dr. Devi Mishra conducted the Orissa Economic development seminar. Dr. Ranjan Patnaik, provided a general introduction to Biotech Seminar and why Orissa is a good destination for biotech related investment. Dr. Sujay K. Singh discussed the prospects of biotech related ventures in Orissa.  Shri Sahadeva Sahoo, a veteran administrator and educationist, discussed his vision of the NRO center and future of biotech in Orissa. Mr. Kailash Sahoo coordinated the seminar on Health and Physical Therapy. Mrs. Mamata Misra and Mrs. Tapasi Misra conducted discussions on volunteering in North America. Dr. K P Misra known for his brilliant oratory on diverse subjects ranging from science, arts, and culture to spirituality gave lecture on Bhanja Sahitya during a special session.

The most interesting part in the cultural activities was the Subrina Biswal Competition for the special talent among the youngsters. This year, talented Oriya kids from US and Canada displayed artistic talent on musical instruments such as violin, guitar and tabla (percussion), and performed on stage Odissi, Bharat Natyam, Smabalpuri dance etc. much to the amusement of audience.

The first prize in the Promod Patnaik inter chapter cultural competition was won by Arkansas Team for their drama on “ Dhusa Bhai Cha Dokan”. The hilarious drama was well performed by Dr. Brajendra Panda, Souma Das, Sudhansu Panda and others. Local Dallas chapter presented a political satire drama directed by Sanjay Mishra. NY, Michigan, Houston chapter members presented very impressive plays.

Dr. Swati Tripathy coordinated excellent cultural program during the convention making sure that the attendees have a lasting impression of the Convention. With diligent effort of Santanu Das, Sandip Mohapatra, Subhendu Rath and Sanjay Mishra and other volunteers, the cultural programs were conducted smoothly.

Special and unique this time to OSA attendees was the delicious Oriya food comprising of Pakhala, Kankada Jhola etc. arranged by Mr. Mukesh Sahoo and his team. Mr Omkar Rath worked tirelessly for fund raising and helped setting up various vendor stalls during Convention. Registration was well coordinated by Mr. Dhirendra Behera, Mr. Laxmikant Das and Mr. Lokanath Patro. Highlight of the registration packet the Video CD created by Dr. Niranjan Tripathy and Debasish Nanda, was a tribute to renowned Oriya music directors and singers who had performed in USA in various cities.

The OSA directory and Journal edited by Dr. Sikhanda Satapathy and Mr Tapas Sahoo captured the attention and imagination of each and every attendee. Mr Santanu Das designed the killer web site www.osa2004.org and performed the audiovisual coordination throughout the cultural show. Mr Raj Patro coordinated all Youth activities and arranged for games, DJ and BBQ dinner for the youngsters. Extended after-hour session of Mehfil were coordinated by Subhendu Rath and Sukant Mohapatra where the professionals and the amateurs came together to display and discover their cultural talents. For some, it was the perfect time to catch up with old friends.

Renowned musician, composer and singer who created waves in his time with famous songs of Oriya film "Mamata", our dear, none other than Shri Prafulla Kar was the "esteemed invited Artist from Orissa". He mesmerized the audience with his newly composed Oriya songs and impressive tune. Young artist Mr. Srinivasa from California shared the podium with Shri Prafulla Kar and displayed his versatility by singing various popular Oriya songs. It was a daunting task for cultural coordinators to provide Shri Parafulla Kar enough time on the stage. At the end, everything ended well and the attendees whole-heartedly applauded and appreciated the effort of Shri Kar, who accepted the invitation in a short notice and entertained the Oriya music lovers during the convention.

Convention of such magnitude was highly successful due to countless hours of dedication, hard work and planning by many volunteers who contributed all their effort under the inspired guidance and help from OSA Secretary Mr Hari Arjun Patro, Convener Dr Niranjan Tripathy and Co-convener Mr. Tapan Padhi. The financial help from Diamond Sponsor Mr Surya Sahoo and Mrs. Kabita Sahoo provided the initial impetus for the grand planning of the Convention. The challenges for the organizers were meticulously met by making sure that all program schedule and responsibility are well assigned, by keeping the comfort of the guests as the top priority and by making the availability of volunteers for attendees to help any time and above all starting the program always in time. After this fun filled three days of OSA Convention, every attendee had one remark in common about the convention - “awesome”.