BHUBANESWAR: On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik called upon people to join hands to make India strong with the message of peace, non-violence and brotherhood. The CM planted a peepal tree on the premises of Lok Seva Bhavan on Sunday to commemorate the 75th year of Independence which is being celebrated across the country and also welcomed the Ahimsa Rath, which traversed across the State for the last 49 days disseminating the message of peace and non-violence. He named the peepal tree as ‘freedom tree’, and used the sacred soil and water collected from different parts of the State for planting the sapling.
Naveen said the tree will be a messenger of peace, freedom and non-violence for all. Stating that the peepal tree signifies knowledge, enlightenment, happiness and auspiciousness, he said, since ages, it continues to represent the collective conscience of a pan-Indian cultural heritage. From the ancient Indus Valley civilisation to the sacred pages of Bhagwat Gita to the enlightenment of Lord Budhha, the peepal tree has always been an inseparable part of our socio-cultural life, he added.
Veteran freedom fighter and president of State Freedom Fighters’ Association Nilamani Samal presented a charkha to the Chief Minister on the occasion. Naveen honoured him by presenting a shawl. Welcoming the Ahimsa Rath, he thanked all for the kind of response it received from the people of Odisha.He released special editions of Utkal Prasang and Odisha Review. He also released a special commemorative publication on the visit of Mahatma Gandhi to Odisha.