The Odisha government has renamed the village “Bilung” in Sambalpur district as “Rangabati Bilung” after the famous folk song “Rangabati”.
It is the native place of Padma Shri Mitrabhanu Gauntia, the lyricist of the cult song ‘Rangabati’.
Recognising the popularity of the famous folk song ‘Rangabati’ of Odisha, the state government, on obtaining No Objection Certificate (NoC) from the Government of India, renamed Bilung under Bamra Tehsil in Sambalpur district as ‘Rangabati Bilung’, said a notification issued by the Revenue Department.
Gauntia was born in Bilung village in 1942 and has composed about 1,000 Sambalpuri songs. He received Padma Sri Award in 2020 in addition to Odisha State Sangeet Natak Academy Award and Akashvani National Award for music.
Rangabati, the all-time hit Sambalpuri folk song, was first recorded for All India Radio, Sambalpur, in 1975-76. Later, it was re-recorded (Disc) in Indian Record Company, Kolkata, in 1978-79.
The music composer for this number is late Prabhudatta Pradhan. Padma Shri Jitendra Haripal and Krishna Patel rendered their voice to the cult song.
Haripal received the Padma Shri award in 2017.