Professor Lakshman Kumar Mahapatra (1929-2020) was a world-renowned anthropologist and educationist from Odisha, who spent most of his career at Utkal University establishing the discipline of anthropology in Odisha and turning the Anthropology Dept at the University into a vibrant and pioneering intellectual space that led to it becoming one of the two Centres for Advanced Study in Anthropology in India. He has conducted pioneering research in the country in the now established fields of development anthropology, population anthropology and study of “other world cultures”.
He has also served as the Vice-Chancellor of Utkal and Sambalpur Universities and as the Director and subsequently Chairman of the Nabakrushna Choudhury Centre for Development Studies in Bhubaneswar.
Professor Mahapatra has inspired generations of scholars, policymakers, activists and young people through his life and work. Those of us, who have been inspired by him hope that he will continue to inspire future generations through this modest attempt at documenting his life and work in this website.