Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: Rains failed to dampen the spirit of Independence Day today as children, youngsters and elders flocked to the Mahatma Gandhi Marg in Bhubaneswar to attend state-level parade.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unfurled the national flag and addressed the gathering on the occasion.

In his address, Patnaik recalled the great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, Utkalamani Pandit Gopabandhu Das, Utkala Gourab Madhusudan Das, Buxi Jagabandhu, Ramadevi, Malati Chaudhary, Parbati Giri, Dr Harekrushna Mahtab and Biju Patnaik among others. He also paid his homage to the martyrs who laid their lives in the service of the country.

Emphasizing on the development of farmers, women and youth of the State, Patnaik said that they are being provided loan at one per cent interest.

“After the Asian Athletics meet, Odisha is all set to host the Men’s World Cup hockey,” Patnaik pointed out.
While announcing the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY), the CM said, “70 lakh families of the State will get benefitted under the scheme.”

Later in the day, the CM officially inaugurated the BSKY scheme at the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar under which the beneficiaries will get medical assistance of Rs 5 lakh while women beneficiaries will be entitled to Rs 7 lakh.

Similarly, Steel & Mines Minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick unfurled the tricolor at Reserve police ground in Bolangir while southern range Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), T.Ao attended the parade at Berhampur and hoisted the national flag.

Tourism & Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda attended the Independence day celebration in Puri, while Food Supply & Civil Welfare, Cooperation Minister Surjya Narayan Patro and district collector Dasarathy Satpathy attended the I-day functions in Rayagada and Kendrapara respectively.

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Health Minister Pratap Jena unfurled the flag at Angul stadium, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy at Reserve police Ground in Baripada, Higher Education & Industries Minister Ananta Das at Town Hall Ground in Keonjhar, MSME Minister PrafullaSamal in Phulbani and School & Mass Education, Science & Technology Minister Badri Narayan Patra in Jajpur and district collector Gyanendra Das in Bhadrak.