Bhubaneswar: The Chief Minister of Odisha joined the street fest for the first time making the event more special. Janpath turned into a mega platform of sports events as thousands of students, youth and children made the stretch a lively spot this morning. Speaking to the audience Chief Minister urged the people of Odisha to make the Asian Athletics meet a grand success. On the occasion of holy Rath Yatra, he greeted people of the state by saying “ Jay Jagannath”. He expressed his pleasure to see such kind of event which benefits health and mind of citizens.
The Patha Utsav today attracted huge footfall as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inspired citizens to come, enjoy, participate and encourage the athletes taking part in the `mahakumbh’ of the athletics extravaganza.
Today’s Patha Utsav (street fest) was unique with a lot of new initiatives. Bollywood singer Vinod Rathod, leading dance groups like Dancework Z institutes, Prince Dance group and other famous groups performed in the street fest in 3 different stages. More 2 number of dance floors were provided for dance challenge programme.
The sports department had given thousands of T-Shirts, Caps and stickers for the volunteers which created an environment of Asian Athletics Meet programme. To promote the mascot of AAC-2017, thousands of olly masks were distributed among participants. Quite a number of selfie zones were provided to popularize the olly which spreads the message of Athletics Meet. While the mascot costume of Olly, the turtle, attracted the crowd the book reading and story-telling session also generated interest among the children and youth. The first Olympian athlete from Odisha Anuradha Biswal also interacted with the crowd and the sports quiz was followed by students with great interest. In the battle among dancers the unique event kept the public engaged throughout the Patha Utsav event.
It can be mentioned here that the AAC-2017 will have 20 world champions and over 800 athletes from of 45 nations. The event will be held at Kalinga Stadium Complex from July 5 to 9. The city-based sports facility meanwhile has gone through a massive overhaul with new 8-lane synthetic tracks, warm-up/practice ground, floodlights and up-gradation of support facilities. All these were completed in a record three months time by different agencies engaged by the Odisha Government.
As an innovative exercise, themes like “Walk with Olly’’ the mascot of the games, “Selfie with Olly’’, ‘Meet the Sports Star’, ‘Festival of Aisa’- book reading and storytelling sessions from 30 Asian countries, ‘Sports Quiz’’, ‘Dance Battle’ have been chosen to make this Patha Utsav memorable.
Apart from the Chief Minister, Housing and Urban Development Minister Niranjan Pujari, Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda, Sports and Youth Services Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera, MP Dr. Prasanna Kumar Patsani, MLA Bhubaneswar (Central) Bijay Kumar Mohanty, MLA Bhubaneswar (North) Priyadarshi Mishra, BMC Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and Development Commissioner-cum-additional chief secretary R. Balakrishnan were present. Sports and Youth Services Secretary Vishal Kumar Dev and BMC Commissioner Dr. Krishan Kumar also graced the occasion.