Bhubaneswar: Olly, the mascot of 22nd Asian Athletics Championship-2017 had an eventful day on its second appearance as part of social connect initiative of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and received the blessings of the honourable Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Odisha Secretariat.
Apart from the Chief Minister, Agriculture Minister Dr. Damodar Rout, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, Finance Secretary Tuhin Kant Pandey, Home Secretary Asit Tripathy, Special Secretary GAD Ashok Kumar Meena, Special Secretary (Home) Lalit Das, Police Commissioner YB Khurania greeted the mascot.
Olly started its sojourn on the second day with a grand welcome by the students of BJEM School wherein the students in traditional Odissi and Paika attires along with school band, NCC cadets as well as Scouts and Guides escorted the mascot from the gate to the main stage. Thousands of students from the pre-primary to higher secondary level staged a remarkable show and had a fun-filled moment with Olly and danced to the beats played during the programme.
At Capital High School, the games’ mascot received a traditional welcome with a colourful rangoli of Olly with marigold petals while the students staged a grand welcome on stage amidst thunderous applause coupled with the performance of the school band. In fact, the school band escorted the mascot from the main gate to the auditorium. The students had a competition among themselves, literally to greet and touch the beautiful mascot, which is themed after the Olive Ridley turtle.
Later in the day, the students of RD Women’s University, the first women’s university of the state, had a fun time with Olly, which turned the centre of attraction for taking single and group selfies with the mascot. The teachers were also seen doing the same like the students.
On its arrival at BJB Autonomous College Principal Prof. Mohamad Nawaz Hasan welcomed Olly along with the staff and students. Prof SN Tripathy, HoD of English Department and other faculty members welcomed the mascot and spoke on the games. Students of the premier college of the state actively participated in the programme and joined the performers on stage. There was a huge rush among boys and girls to take selfies with the mascot.
Late in the afternoon, Olly travelled to Forum Mart, the first mall of the city and interacted with the shoppers while taking some matching steps on the floor. Souvenirs on the AAC-2017 were distributed as prizes for giving correct answers on the athletics event. Solo and group dance performances by city-based Dance WorkZ attracted a large number of youngsters and shoppers in the mall.
Olly ended its journey of citizen connect for the day by making a brief appearance at Bakul Children’s Library on a special invitation. It spent a few moments with the volunteers of the library and book lovers. It was also offered a sapling as part of Bakul’s `Gift a plant’ initiative.