BHUBANESWAR: Braving the scorching sun and hot conditions, around 70,000 people turned up at the 12th edition of Raahgiri Day here on Sunday. The focus of the weekly street event this time was on health, nature and autism.
Continuing its celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, which was observed on April 2, the State Government organised activities which were presented by autistic children. Experts also offered tips on autism and for parenting and managing a child with the developmental disorder.
‘Dedi Luku’, a character representing ‘tree man’ in Kui language, interacted with crowd to spread awareness on trees and depleting green cover and encourage afforestation in the urban environment.
City-based NGOs came up with Rangolis and 3-D art forms to create awareness on smoking and its effects on health, benefits of blood donation and problem of cleft lip and how it can be corrected through simple surgery. An art work depicting Nobel prize winner Mother Teresa and her selfless service was also created at the event.
Youths took out a mock funeral procession of a man whose death was caused due to smoking to make people aware on the ill-effects of the dangerous habit.
General health awareness apart, two City-based psychiatrists Dr Pranab Mahapatra and Dr Sudipta Kumar Das attracted people’s attention towards their activity zone by listing out various forms of mental illness and how to treat/prevent them.
Singers from ‘Ama Kalakara Paribara’ and Rahul Dhal Praharaj mesmerised the audience with their performance. Members of ‘Ama Kalakara Paribara’ have been associated with Raahgiri since its first edition on January 17.
Volunteers of ‘Jai Odisha’, as usual, organised the cycle-sharing activities efficiently and also distributed drinking water to visitors through a dispenser near their activity zone.
Polythene Ban Plea Reiterated
Addressing the crowd, Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena reiterated his plea to stop use of polythene due to its toxicity and its adverse effect on our environment. Among others, Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani, Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda, Bhubaneswar MLA (North) Priyadarshi Mishra, BMC Commissioner and BDA Vice-Chairman Krishan Kumar and Deputy Mayor K Santi were also present.