Rourkela: The 150th Birth Anniversary of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi was celebrated at Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) with a grand function on Wednesday. The function was organised jointly by the district administration, Rourkela and RSP at the Civic Centre to mark the day. Recitation of bhajans, rendition of the mantra of 'Sarvadharma Samanwaya', revisiting of the key learnings from the life of the Mahatma and a Swachhata pledge made the occasion a truly memorable one, an official release said.
"Many distinguished persons of Rourkela offered floral tributes to the statue of Gandhiji and paid their obeisance. They included Dipak Chattaraj, CEO, Raka Chattaraj, President, Deepika Mahila Sanghati and GM (Internal Audit), Raj Vir Singh, ED (P&A), Gautam Banerjee, ED (Works), DK Mohaptra, ED (MM), Atanu Bhowmick, CGM In-charge (Projects), SS Pati, Director Incharge (M&HS), Praveen Nigam, CGM (F&A), Suman Lata, Anuradha Banerjee and Minakshi Mohapatra, all vice presidents of Deepika Mahila Sangahti and many other senior officers of RSP and eminent citizens of the steel city and a large number of students," the release said.
The celebration began with the mellifluous rendering of Mahatma Gandhi's favourite prayer, 'Baishnaba Janato….' by Ashalata Sarangi, an eminent singer, and the artists of Singhari Kala Niketan.
A Sarbadharma Sadhbhawna Sabha was the highlight of the programme. Rendering of portions of Holy Guru Granth Sahib, by members of Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Rourkela, some stanzas from the Holy Bible by a group from Sacred Heart Cathedral Church, Hamirpur, Holy Koran by a group from Ispat Anjuman, Sector -15 and recitation of portions of Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta by students from Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Sector-7 were the highlights of the program. The collective also recited Bapu's favourite Ramdhun.
The Swachhata pledge was administered in Odia, Hindi and English by Mohaptra, Singh and Banerjee.
Earlier in the morning, a large number of school children formed a long human chain to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Mahatma to create awareness about Swachhata and giving up 'single-use plastic'. The CEO interacted with students and urged them to avoid using plastic goods in general and single-use plastics in particular.
The dignitaries also took part in a cleaning drive near the Food Court, Ambagan. Speaking on the occasion Chattaraj elaborated on the Swachha Bharat Mission and how everyone can contribute to making India a clean nation as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi. "This would be a great tribute to the Mahatma on his 150th birth anniversary," he added.
Raka Chattaraj, along with the Vice Presidents of Deepika Mahila Sanghati and other ladies present on the occasion, went to the Ambagan market and persuaded shopkeepers and the customers to stop using single-use plastics.
A Blood Donation Camp was also organised later during the day at the Blood Transfusion Centre of IGH to mark the day.
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