Biju Patnaik was born on 5 March 1916 to Lakshminarayan and Ashalata Patnaik. His parents belong to G.Nuagan, Bellaguntha, Ganjam district, around 80 km from Bramhapur.
He was educated at Ravenshaw College in Odisha but due to his interest in aviation he dropped out and trained as a pilot. Patnaik flew with private airlines but at the start of the Second World War, he joined the Royal Indian Air Force eventually becoming head of air transport command.
THESE ARE SOME FASCINATING STORIES ABOUT BIJU PATTNAIK.
– He is popularly known as Biju babu.
– In his school days in Ravenshaw Collegiate School, he was famous for his love for games, sports and adventure. His college football team won the inter-school championship for 3 years where he was a key player.
-He joined as a trainee pilot in the Royal Air Force of British Empire.
– In his college days, a remarkable achievement of Biju babu was a journey from Cuttack to Peshawar by cycling.
– His mother Ashalata Devi told him about the heroic achievement of freedom fighters.
– One day in the time of Quit India movement, Jayaprakash Narayan met Biju babu and wanted his co-operation and support for freedom struggle. Prominent freedom fighters were secretly carried from one place to another place in his plane. He performed his job in the national freedom struggle by reaching brochures, posters, and other publicity materials to different persons and destinations.
– Aruna Asaf Ali once had taken shelter at Ananda Bhawan in Cuttack in the house of Biju babu. In that period the British Government declared a reward of 40 thousand rupees to capture Aruna Asaf Ali. Jaya Prakash Narayan travelled in Biju babu’s plane in the guise of professor Bhattacharya and Professor Banerjii.
– Biju babu, by the direction of Pandit Nehru, saved the life of Sariar Khan and Srihatta, the freedom fighters of Indonesia. Biju babu brought them to India in his plane from Indonesia. The colonial Dutch did not get any information about it. It proves his bravery
– For this act of bravery, Patnaik was given honorary citizenship in Indonesia and awarded the ‘Bhoomi Putra’, the highest Indonesian award, rarely granted to a foreigner. In 1996, when Indonesia was celebrating its 50th Independence Day, Biju Patnaik was awarded the highest national award, the ‘Bintang Jasa Utama’.