Odisha gears up for 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has planned special programmes to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Several programmes were approved by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a high-level meeting of the State-level committee held today.

As per decisions, special programmes will be organized across Odisha in a phased manner for two years, official sources said.

Addressing the meeting, Patnaik said that country’s independence was not the sole dream of Mahatma Gandhi. He had a dream to revitalise the soul of India and inculcate the values of humanity.

Mahatma Gandhi always stressed on the principles of truth and non-violence (Ahimsa) which are most relevant in the present context.

“Ahimsa is the key weapon for fighting against the evils of social injustice and poverty. I have urged the government of India to include non-violence in the Preamble of our Constitution,” said Patnaik.

Patnaik further informed that Gandhiji had visited several places in Odisha for nearly eight times and it was in the State that the father of the nation was inspired for the Khaadi movement.

“Odisha government will be observing the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in a befitting manner,” Patnaik added.

Tourism and Culture Minister, Ashok Panda informed that Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti will be observed in all educational institutions and offices on October 2.

A syllabus on Gandhiji’s ideologies will be included in the curriculum for Plus-II students and a major road in each district will be renamed after him, informed Panda.

Leader of the opposition, Narasingha Mishra on the other hand urged the Odisha government to increase old age pension from existing Rs 300 to Rs 1,000 per month.

“As even after 72 years of country’s independence, several elderly people are facing problems in arranging food for them. Hence, it will be a golden opportunity for the government to increase the old age pension as a tribute to Gandhiji’s vision,” said Mishra.