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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bargarh: Lok Sabha member from Bargarh constituency, Suresh Pujari has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to relax COVID-19 weekend shutdown restrictions in the western Odisha to facilitate the observance of Nuakhai festival that falls on August 23.

In a letter dated 8th August 2020, Pujari requested the CM to allow celebration of the festival in a subdued manner with strict compliance of Covid regulations on the same lines exactly as the Puri Rath Yatra this year.

Pujari stated that as part of the tradition, people need to return to their homes and start preparations including shopping for various items. So, he urged the CM to relax the shutdown restrictions prior to the festival so that the people could move freely.

The parliamentarian further requested the CM to provide all the benefits of central and state government-funded pro-poor schemes to the beneficiaries in advance.

Earlier, Sambalpur MLA, Jayanarayan Mishra had also requested the Chief Minister to either defer or prepone the weekend shut-down during Nuakhai to facilitate unhindered observance of the event.

Nuakhai is a mass agrarian festival which derives its name from ‘Nua’ means new and ‘Khai’ means food. It is observed, a day after the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi especially in the Western part of Odisha with much fanfare. People staying in distant lands come back to their native places, wear new clothes and offer prayers before the God and eat food prepared from the newly harvested crops.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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