By Roving Reporter
The Rourkela branch of Utkal Sammilani celebrated Nuakhai on the appointed day (the day following Ganesh Chaturthi) which occurred this year on 18th September.
Former Minister and incumbent Chairman of Rourkela Development Authority Sri Sarada Prasad Nayak graced the event as the Chief Guest, Chief of orissamatters.com as Guest of Honor and Prof. Biswaranjan as Chief Speaker.
Held at the Dhamara Sangha premises, the festival was inaugurated by Dr. Bhabagrahi Mohapatra with ceremonial lighting of Lamp and dedication of the event to Maa Samalai.
Advocate Gobarddhan Pujari presided over the event. Describing Nuakhai as basically an festival of new harvest, he gave a picture of how it has evolved into the most cherished mass function on being fixed to a particular day. General Secretary of the Branch Sri Akshaya Kumar Das presented the guests, following Orissa’s National Anthem ‘Vande Utkala Janani’ recited by Ms. Minakshi Dhar. Sri Ramesh Suna rendered Samalei vandana.
Utkala Sammilani has been celebrating this festival here for the last 32 years.
In introducing the event, Vice-President of Utkal Sammilani Sri Bichitrananda Sahu recalled how the entire Oriya race had woke up to force the British authorities to quash their own mistake that they had perpetrated by dividing Oriya speaking tracks and to resurrect Mother Orissa on the basis of mother tongue Oriya. By all means the children of Orissa shall protect the geographical oneness of the motherland and Utkal Sammilani shall continue to guard the interest of the race, he said, calling upon entire Orissa to celebrate Nuakhai on the particular day as is being observed in areas wherever Maa Samalai is being worshiped in order to enhance the sense of societal integration in whole of the State.
Sri Nayak described Nuakhai as the day of societal oneness, when to Sri Pattanayak this unique reminder of Orissa’s agro-matriarchal past, which had given birth to Jagannatha Culture, is in essence what Orissa needs be addressed to.
Prof. Biswaranjan dwelt on the historicity and magnanimity of Nuakhai, as Dr. Mohapatra stressed upon the need for honesty on parts of political leaders to make Orissa a land of glory and prosperity again.
Er. Balaram Patra recalled how Oriya employees, Officers and industrial managers were being harassed, humiliated and victimized by the non-Oriya authorities of the central sector undertaking – Rourkela Steel Plant – which had forced them to unite under the banner of Utkala Shilpa Parichalaka Samaj and how that unity has led to Oriyan developments in the industrial township. Similar unity among all the Oriyas everywhere would ensure prosperity for the Motherland, he said. Sri Chittaranjan Das proposed the vote of thanks.
Baby artist Banshita Pattanayak mesmerized the audience with Odissi Dance when another young artist Ms. Shraddha Das presented a spellbinding Sambalpuri.
Below are a few pictures of the event that depict the guests and speakers and the audience and the artists of the event.