17 September 2019
Jajpur: In an age when children of his age indulge in video games on their papa's smartphones, tablets or laptops,this child prodigy from Odisha's Jajpur district, who comes from an impoverished background has not only memorised Odia Bhagabata by saint poet Atibadi Jagannath Das but can also recite it effortlessly.
This six-year-old wonder kid-Biraja Shankar Padhi, originally a native of Badabagsahi of Rudrapur panchayat in Jajpur block stays with his differently-abled mother at his maternal grandparents place in Mangarajpur village under Rasulpur block.
As they are very poor and his father being a lowly-paid worker in a private firm outside the State find it difficult to meet both the ends, the mother-son duo reside with his maternal grandparents.
Biraja, who was used to listen to his uncles and grandmother reciting the Bhagabata in the morning and evening at a very tender age, developed a fancy for reciting the same.
"He is my grandson, he is a kid. Since his mother is dumb he stays here. Whenever I read and recite Gita and Bhagabata he listens passionately. He has memorised the first chapter of the 11th part of the Bhagabata and can recite the same effortlessly," said Minakshi Mishra, Biraja's maternal grandma.
Minakshi added that Biraja had accompanied her while she had been to Delhi to speak on Bhagabata at a function held at the Indian Institute of Oriental Heritage and there he too had recited the scripture and had earned accolades from the audience and organizers.
"He is my nephew. He is only six-year-old and studies in class-I. We all read and recite Bhagabata in the morning and evening. He very keenly observes and listens to my mother when she recites the scripture," said Priyadarshini Mishra, Biraja's maternal aunt.
"He has memorized the first chapter of the 11th part of the Bhagabata and can recite it," she added.