The 104-year-old teacher, popularly known as ‘Nanda Master’, was awarded the Padma Shri on November 9 for his long contribution to education and social service.
Just before receiving the award, Prusti raised his hand to bless President Ram Nath Kobind, who bowed his head and his picture went viral on social media.
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Although he was only able to study up to 8th grade due to his family’s financial situation, he continued to teach with great enthusiasm to the primary school students and the villagers.
Prosti, a resident of Kantira village in Sukinda block of Jajpur district, was admitted to a community health center on November 29 after complaining of cough and cold and aging problems. When his condition deteriorated that night, he was shifted to District Sadar Hospital.
The veteran teacher tested positive for COVID-19 on November 30, after which he was shifted to a private hospital in the state capital last Saturday.
“She died at 1.28pm today,” her grandson Khageshwar Presti and hospital authorities said. Nanda Presti is survived by two sons.
President Kobind has expressed his condolences on his death and extended his condolences to his family and fans, saying “Nanda Sir” shared the joy of education.
“His gesture of blessing me when I gave him Padma Shri last month will remain in my memory,” the President tweeted. “Long live his rich legacy!”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the much-respected “Nanda Sir” will be remembered for generations for his efforts to spread the joy of education in Orissa.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted that the nation “will always remember this great soul for selfless service”.
Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the death of Nanda Prasti was an irreparable loss not only to Orissa but to the entire education community of the country.
Orissa Governor Ganesha Lal extends his condolences to the bereaved family.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has posted on social media that his valuable contribution to education and lifelong sacrifice will forever be a role model.
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