23rd National Youth Fest from January 12
The state capital is all set to host 23rd National Yuva Utsav 2020, to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda from January 12. Youths from 28 states and nine union territories will take part in the event. The five-day-long event will be held at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium. The Utsav will be based on the theme - Fit Youth, Fit India. Kiren Rijiju, minister of state (independent charge), ministry of youth affairs and sports, recently launched the mascot of the event, Bandhu. The festival will be a bouquet of events, including folk song, classical singing, classical dance performances etc.
Tanneries shut for holy baths
The UP Pollution Control Board issued a roster for the closure of 264 tanneries in Kanpur and Unnao for 18 days from January 10 to February 21 as between dates for holy baths, including Paush Purnima, Makar Sankranti, Mouni Amavasya, Basant Panchami, Magh Purnima and Shivratri, will take place during the month-long Magh Mela. All tanneries were directed to follow the roster and they will be closed two days before the holy bath. Earlier, Kanpur and Unnao tanneries were shut during Kumbh between January 15 and March 4, 2019, to provide clean water to the devotees participating in the holy dips.
Magh Mela begins
Magh Mela-2020 — the 43-day spiritual sojourn — commenced with the first bath on Paush Purnima at the Sangam in Prayagaraj on Friday. Devotees started arriving in large numbers from Wednesday. Seeking spiritual fulfilment, around 23 lakh devotees took the holy dip at the Sangam on the first day of the Mela. The first bathing of Magh Mela marks the commencement of Kalpwas in the mela area wherein nearly a lakh Kalpwasis begin their rigorous itinerary of meditation and religious discourses. The Kalpwas will end on February 9, 2020, on the fifth bathing of Maghi Purnima.
New zoo in Gorakhpur
A proposal to set up Rs 234 crore for construction of a zoological garden named after Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan in Gorakhpur has received the UP Cabinet’s nod. The zoo will come upon over 121 acres land. Freedom fighter Ashfaqullah Khan was sentenced to death along with Ram Prasad Bismil for the Kakori train robbery, commonly known as the Kakori conspiracy of 1925. The latest zoo will help conserve wildlife. At present, there are two zoological gardens in UP, one in Lucknow and another in Kanpur. Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan Zoological Garden will be the third one in Gorakhpur.
Our correspondent in Uttar Pradesh