Bhubaneswar: The 1.5 km stretch of Janpath from Master Canteen to Ram Mandir Square on the 79th Patha Utsav celebration remained soaked with the spirit of national integration and nationalism as the citizens and participating public at the most popular street festival of the Temple City paid their homage to the martyrs of Pulwama terror strike.
It can be mentioned here that as many as 44 CRPF personnel were killed on Thursday in one of the most lethal attacks targeting security personnel since Independence. In this terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir Odisha also lost two Bravehearts Monoj Behera and Prasanna Kumar Sahu.
The 79th Patha Utsav paid tribute to all brave sons of the soil and also the two Odia CRPF jawans, who lost their lives as they were deployed on a mission to save the sovereignty and safety of the motherland. In every patriotic song being performed by artists at two main stages at two ends of the street festival, Rangoli art on Janpath, storytelling sessions on and off the stage, quiz, art, acclivities and all things associated with the Patha Utsav, there was association of a nationalist pride and a sense of loss for the brave sons as at many places the visitors also paid floral tributes to the martyrs, who also fought for the Independence of our nation along with the heroes who are putting their lives at risks and protecting us from the tentacles of the terrorists and attackers of our national stability and honour.
Secretary Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Nodal Officer of Patha Utsav Bhabani Shankar Chayani thanked all participating organisations and the thousands of crowd for participating in the event and also paying a rich tribute to the soldiers of India both from Armed and paramilitary forces. “We were preparing for a usual theme for today’s Patha Utsav, but after the terror attack suddenly changed the theme to patriotism and paying homage to the martyrs. It’s really wonderful that things are done nicely and people participated and paid their tributes to the sons of the soil,” he added.
Breaking the monotony of the usual performances on stage in front of Ram Mandir, storyteller Prachitara gave a storytelling performance on the youngest martyr of India Baji Rout, who being a small child died protesting the British officials as they ordered him to ferry river Brahmani ase Baji (12 years old) was working as a small kid of his boatman father. The story of Sahid Baji Rout has been highly respected across India and especially for the bravery he had shown as a small kid from Odisha against the powerful British.
Children paid tributes to Pulwama martyrs by lighting candles at the People’s Cultural Centre (PECUC) space at Patha Utsav on Sunday. They gathered at the space dedicated to them and paid homage to the CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the terror attack at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. Later, patriotic songs including “Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon” and “Sandeshe Aate Hain” were sung and performed by children. Also, children have engaged themselves in various activities.
Itishree Dixit and her troupe created a beautiful Rangoli depicting national integration, patriotism and terrorism and how the act of terror is influencing the world in every possible manner. On the art front, the DP Artlife created a unique collage with messages from the visitors were pasted on a canvas creating a memorial of art like the “Amar Jawan Jyoti”. The organisation is planning to donate the “people’s art” to the Territorial Army Battalion (120 Battalion) in the city as it has messages of more than 300 people collected from today’s Patha Utsav.
Bakul’s Library had a specially curated section of biographies of Bravehearts and stories of their heroics in war. The Library on the road also had books that give insights into the operations of terror and it’s base in Pakistan, and the terror and attack on Mumbai, the chase of Osama Bin Laden etc, the origin of modern terror attacks in Israeli occupied Palestine. So, young and old read and engaged with the best of writing on terror and our Bravehearts.
What was Interesting was the huge numbers of children coming and reading books, more than any other day this season. Parents particularly took interest in reading along with the children, particularly the inspirational stories of our Bravehearts including Param Vir Chakra winners. Bakul Volunteers also told stories to the children. About 200 children came and read books this morning.
Women in Society Help (Wish) also organised activities for children with subjects mainly based on patriotism and nation-building. Poetry recital was also organised by Wish on the occasion for the martyrs.
Many volunteers led by leading social service organisation Helpmate took out a rally along the Patha Utsav venue to create and instill a patriotic spirit. Many other groups also organised awareness among the public on the terror attack and how the soldiers are sacrificing to keep us safe and secured. Signature campaigns were also organised by several organisations as they created giant walls for the citizens to write on their views for following the terror attack.