Odisha decides to celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi for 2 years
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra among others, a government statement said. Stating that he has proposed to include 'Ahimsa' in the preamble of the Constitution, Patnaik said Independence of the country was not the sole aim of Mahatma Gandhi.
The CM said "he (Gandhiji) had the prime objective to develop the fundamental value in Indian society. Gandhiji's two mantras like truth and non-violence have relevance in the present day society."
The meeting resolved to set up four sub-committees for the celebration of the anniversary in the state in a grand manner. Padayatras and memorial meets will be held across the state during the period, said the Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda. Panda said the anniversary would be celebrated in schools, colleges and universities, urban local bodies, blocks, and gram panchayats.
A new website will be opened to propagate the messages and life of Gandhiji. Commemorating the visit of Mahatma Gandhi to Cuttack, a function will be organized in the city on March 23.
Besides, the statue of Mahatma Gandhi will be erected in all district headquarters as well as the places where he had visited while one major thoroughfare in the districts will be named as Mahatma Gandhi Marg.
Attending the meeting, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra proposed that the old age pension should be raised from Rs 300 a month to at least Rs 1,000 a month as elderly people even after 72 years of Independence were facing problem in arranging a square of meal every day.