January 02, 2019 07:34 PM

Shimla (Vijyender Sharma)

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today flagged off Winter Carnival Parade from Circuit House, Manali after performing Pooja at famous Hidimba Mata temple to inaugurate five-day long 8th National Winter Carnival-2019 at Manali in Kullu district. Winter Carnival 2019 is organised every year from 2-6 January.

The Chief Minister said that a number of activities during this celebration have increased and the festival has gained popularity amongst foreign tourists as well. He said that Manali has been the host for the grand Himachal Winter Carnival ever since the festival was initiated. The popularity of this tourist destination and ease of accessibility is what makes Manali a perfect venue for the carnival, he added.

He said that the Winter Carnival has got better with time. Initially it promoted the culture of the state by means of folk dances and music, however, with passing time many other activities have also been added to the list.

Jai Ram Thakur said that it was heartening to know that over 120 Mahila Mandals of the area participated in the procession based on different themes such as cleanliness, drug abuse, Gau Sanrakshan, women empowerment, awareness regarding female foeticide and environment conservation etc. He said that these vital messages were emphatically presented by the women. He said that Kullu district was the probably the best district of the State in preserving and conserving the rich cultural repository of the district.

He said that the present State Government has completed one year in office and this one year has not only witnessed a change in whole generation, but has been a period filled with several milestones. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only participated in the oath taking ceremony of the present State Government, but also blessed the State with his presence during the one year function of the State Government held at Dharamshala.

The Chief Minister said that the Prime Minister appreciated the steps taken by the State Government for development of the State. He was particularly impressed by the Jan Manch programme launched by the State Government, he added. He said that over 20000 grievances have been redressed at the door steps of the people under this programme. He said the nation as well as the State needs visionary leadership of Narendra Modi for another ten years for making India a world power. He said that the State has also been able to get projects worth Rs. 9500 crore sanctioned for the State from Centre during last year.

He said that after Atal Behari Vajpayee, it is Narendra Modi who considers Himachal Pradesh as his second home. It is due to his love and affection for the State that during the untimely snow and rains the Union Government provided seven helicopters to rescue the people stranded in Lahaul valley and Holi in Chamba district.

The Chief Minister announced PWD Division at Manali. He also announced upgradation of Middle School Bastori to High school, Rs. 85 lakh for buildings of GSSS Palchan and Rs. 20 lakh for Primary School Palchan. He said that science block would be constructed at Senior Secondary School Nagar and new auditorium would be constructed at Manali. He announced Rs. 8000 each for the Mahila Mandals participating in this Carnival who used to get Rs. 6000 earlier. He also announced rupees one lakh from his discretionary fund to the organisers for the cultural events.

He released the calendar brought out by the State Forest Department.

Chander Mohan presented a cheque of Rs. 10 lakh for Gau Sparsh Society on behalf of National Kick Boxing Society.

Forest and Transport Minister Govind Thakur said that the one year tenure of the state government has been full of achievements and under the leadership of Jai Ram Thakur several unprecedented initiatives have been taken for welfare and development of the State.

Member of Parliament Ram Swaroop Sharma said that the Winter Carnival was a symbol of rich culture and tradition of the region. He thanked the Mahila Mandals of the area for their active participation in the celebration.

Deputy Commissioner, Kullu Yunus detailed various activities being undertaken during the celebration.Former MP Maheshwar Singh, HPMC Vice Chairman Ram Singh, BJP Mahila Morcha State General Secretary Dhaneshwari Thakur, District BJP President Bheem Sen were also present on the occasion among others.

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