Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday launched two-year-long celebrations to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The celebrations which began Tuesday on the occasion of the 149th birth anniversary of the father of the nation will be held across the state till 2020 to spread his ideology among the people, the chief minister said while launching the celebrations at a programme near here.
The two-year-long celebrations were launched by the chief minister at the Gandhi Smruti Peeth at Balianta, on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. On the occasion, the chief minister inaugurated a photo exhibition featuring Mahatma Gandhis visit to Odisha.
Gandhiji had made about seven trips to Odisha between 1921 and 1946. Stating that Gandhiji had stayed for three days at Balianta during his visit to Odisha in May 1934, Patnaik said different programmes have been undertaken by the state government to highlight the father of the nation’s ideals. Patnaik also inaugurated a bridge constructed at a cost of Rs 27 crore over river Kusabhadra and named it after Mahatma Gandhi.
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi was also unveiled on the occasion. In the morning, Patnaik attended a function in the Odisha Assembly premises and offered floral tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat, Information and Public Relations minister Pratap Jena, Tourism minister Ashok Chandra Panda and several eminent personalities were present on the occasion.
The chief minister later dedicated a mechanical sweeping project and 50 Smart e-toilets in the state capital here to the people. Reports of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations were received from across the state. While different activities were held at several places, special prayers had been organised in educational institutions.
The major cities of the state like Cuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur, Balasore and other district headquarters also celebrated Gandhi Jayanti in a big way.