Biju centenary: Govt aims to reach out to youth, farmers, women

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to spread the message of courage, conviction and dedication of legendary leader Biju Patnaik, the Odisha government has decided to reach out to the farmers, youth and women of the State during his year-long birth centenary celebrations.

“They (farmers, youth and women) are the driving force of the country and the message of Biju Patnaik’s contribution towards the development of Odisha must reach them,” Tathagat Satpathy, deputy chief of the Biju Patnaik birth centenary coordination committee, said while attending a meeting here.

“The programmes designed for the observation will certainly inspire the youth,” the parliamentarian said.

The meeting discussed various programmes taken up by various departments for celebrations at block and district levels.

“This apart, plans have also been drawn up for observation of the centenary in foreign countries, including Indonesia, UK, USA and Russia,” said a member of the committee.

Among others, Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das, Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Law minister Arun Sahoo, Higher Education minister Prdeep Panigrahi, School and Mass Education minister Debi Prasad Misha and Kandhamal MP Pratyusha Rajeswari attended the meeting.

Official sources said the Information and Public Relations department would prepare a calendar after all departments submit their lists of programmes.

The government, however, has made no special budgetary provision for the purpose in the recently tabled annual budget 2016-17.

The panchayati raj, school and mass education, higher education, skill development and technical education, micro, small and medium enterprises, industries, rural development, energy and health and family welfare departments would organize workshops, exhibitions and interactive sessions and make people aware of Biju Patnaik’s role in the development of the state, the sources said.