Bhubaneswar: Marking 75 years of Independence on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik planted a peepal tree on the premises of Lok Seva Bhawan here today. Coining it as ‘Freedom Tree’, the CM said peepal tree is the epitome of intellectual and moral freedom and called upon people to make India strong in the spirit of peace, non-violence and brotherhood. The tree was planted by the CM with sacred soil and water collected from different parts of the State.
Speaking on the occasion, Naveen said the tree will be a messenger of peace, freedom and non-violence as it signifies knowledge, enlightenment, happiness and auspiciousness. “From the Indus Valley Civilisation to the sacred pages of Bhagwat Gita to Lord Buddha’s enlightenment, peepal tree has always been an inseparable part of our socio-cultural life,” he said.
Veteran freedom fighter and president of State Freedom Fighters’ Association Nilamani Samal presented a charkha to the Chief Minister and the CM honoured him by presenting a shawl.
The Ahimsa Rath moving across the State also reached the Lok Seva Bhawan today. The CM welcomed it and thanked people for the encouraging response. Naveen also released special editions of Utkal Prasang and Odisha Review besides a special commemorative publication on Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Odisha.
Ministers, top officials and dignitaries were present on the occasion.