When President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Padma Shri Award on Nanda Prusty for his contribution to the field of education, the 102-year-old raised his hands to bless the head of state. President Kovind, thusly, bowed his head and collapsed his hands in a Namaste as he got the gift. It was a second that has won hearts via social media.
In a post on Twitter, the Rashtrapati Bhavan gave a special mention to the contacting second as it reported Nanda Prusty’s Padma honor on Tuesday.
A picture of the teacher, who walked barefoot to receive India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, has been widely circulated on social media, earning much praise and appreciation.
“Speechless…! It’s so moving,” wrote senior IFS officer Ramesh Pandey.
“President Kovind presents Padma Shri to Shri Nanda Prusty for Literature and Education. 102-yr-old ‘Nanda sir’, who provided free education to children and adults at Jajpur, Odisha for decades, raised his hands in a gesture of blessing the President,” the official account of the President’s office tweeted while sharing photos from the awards ceremony, which took place Monday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“I don’t remember the exact year when I started teaching. But, it was really long ago, before India got independence. Everyone in my village was illiterate. So, I was sent to my maternal uncle’s place in Jajpur district to get an education. After I returned, I started teaching others,” he told The Better India in an interview last year.