Gandhinagar: Odisha is known for Lord Jagannath and the Konarak Sun Temple. It is also known as the state of festivals. The state has a rich legacy of culture, heritage, art, craft and natural beauty. It is the time to conserve the identity and to bring it to fore – observed Shri O. P. Kohli, Hon’ble Governor of Gujarat at the Utkal Divas celebration in Gandhinagar on 1st April 2017.
Inaugurating an impressive celebration of the Foundation Day of Odisha State cultural programme at Sector 22 Rang Manch in Gandhinagar, Shri O. P. Kohli stated that every state has its own leaders and mentors who have inspired the generations through arts, literature, social work and so on. However the profiles of such unsung heroes and personalities have not mentioned in the text books or curriculum for which the students of the next generation have not been able to learn about them. He suggested that curriculum should be redesigned to include proper mention about these unsung heroes of the state, not only in that particular state, but also the other states to educate, enlighten and inspire.
During the programme the Governor launched the website of Gandhinagar Odiya Samaj and also released the Souvenir “Aaradhaya”.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Nirmal S Wadhwani, Minister of State for women and child welfare expressed that the two states, Gujarat and Odisha have many similarities in geographical location, natural resources as well as arts and culture. The State was known, far and wide, for the heroic deeds, maritime trade and over-sea expansion of its people. She mentioned that while Gujarat is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, the Odisha state is known for its people with sincerity and hardworking. She advised the younger generation to take a leaf out of the rich legacy of the state and to connect the state to the entire world with knowledge, experience and expertise for peace and prosperity.
Shri H. K. Dash, State Vigilance Commissioner, Gujarat was the Chief Speaker on the occasion. He mentioned about the contribution and dedication of great leaders in the past in making of the Odisha state. He mentioned that the soil of Odisha and supremely courageous sacrifices of its people that turned a merciless, atrocious, and barbaric Chandasoka to Dharmasoka amid the Kalinga war in 261 B.C. It is here on this soil, Asoka abandoned his expansionist urge, took asylum in Buddhism and ultimately became its great defender and propagator. On April 1, 1936, Odisha was formed as an independent state on linguistic basis. It was only after three decades of revolution carried out under the aegis of Utkal Sammilani that Odisha got independent status.
Dr. S. K. Nanda, Member, Advisory Committee of National Disaster Management Authority, Govt of India, in his presidential address highlighted the splendid glimpses of the glorious and remarkable past incidences of Odisha state which are found in many epics including Mahabharat. Buddhist and Jain literature also have rich descriptions of bravery, patriotism and generosity of the people of ancient Odisha. He urged the members to work hard and to lead the state from front with inclusive growth and sustainable development.
Earlier, Shri S. K. Mishra, President of Gandhinagar Odiya Samaj welcomed the dignitaries and Guests. Dr. R. N. Das, Advisor to Planning & Convergence, Govt of Odisha spoke at length on the glorious traditions and heritage of Odisha which continues to educate, enlighten. inspire. Dr. Narottam Sahoo, General Secretary of GOS proposed the vote of thanks.
The programme was followed by the Odishi dance by Dr. Chandanaa Raul and troupe, sponsored by the Department of Culture, Govt of Odisha. In addition, there are cultural presentations by Ms. Shweta Bhosale from Vadodara, Ms. Sudha B from Ahmedabad which mesmerized the audience through the splendid and multi faceted cultural evening.
Shri M. K. Sahu, Bijoy Kumar Nayak, Dipak R Mishra, Tapan Kumar Pal, Mahendra Das, Ramakant Prusty, Biswajit Mishra and many others coordinated various programmes and activities during the programme. About 1200 delegated from Odiya and non-Odiya members witness the cultural evening over the a variety of Odia dishes with delicious flavours.