STATE TIMES NEWS
LEH: ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’, a nation-wide event celebrating 75 years of India’s Independence, was on Friday launched by Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur at Leh Polo Ground.
LG Mathur flagged off a cycle rally in which 75 cyclists took part and a symbolic Dandi March during the event. He also commenced the 7500 trees plantation drive by planting an apricot sapling at Raj Niwas.
Addressing the gathering, LG Mathur said that every Indian today takes inspiration from the sacrifices of the freedom fighters of the country. He stated that the event is aimed to celebrate and reiterate the stories of their sacrifices. He said that the objective of celebrating “Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav” is to pay tribute to the martyrs by taking a pledge to make India a nation that they aspire for and to project the glory of ancient India and the progress of modern India. LG Mathur said that despite having a rich civilization with unique cultural heritage, development in Ladakh has always remained a challenge even post-independence due to its geographic remoteness, harsh climatic condition and connectivity issues. This, he added, has deprived Ladakh of the progress and development that they deserve. He asserted the fulfilment of the long-pending demand of Union Territory status for Ladakh by the Prime Minister of India would usher in a new beginning for the progress and prosperity of Ladakh. Mathur said that the government is committed to connecting Ladakh to mainstream India, with improving road connectivity one of its major projects. The Lt. Governor reiterated the commitment of UT Administration to ensure a sustainable and progressive Ladakh. He asserted that achieving the ambitious goal of making Ladakh a carbon neutral region would be our greatest role in nation building and true tribute to our freedom fighters. Meanwhile, Chairman, LAHDC Leh, Tashi Gyalson shared that the event is a time to reflect the hardships the citizens of the country faced during the freedom struggle. He said that people should take a cue from Gandhi Ji and raise their voice against injustice and wrong-doings and walk on the path showed by him. Chairman LAHDC Leh added that many challenges need to be addressed after Ladakh has become a union territory. He exhorted the district officials to provide a platform where the public grievances could be heard and addressed. He also impressed upon the people to remember the sacrifice made by the freedom fighters.
Speaking during the event, Member of Parliament, Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, highlighted the importance of the event and how the public suffered under British rule due to the heavy tax imposed on salt despite it being a necessary commodity.
He shared how the Dandi March initiated by Mahatma Gandhi holds a special place in India’s history. MP also stated that the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav is not a 75-week long celebration but rather a 25-year long movement till India completes a century of its independence from British rule. He urged all the people to take part in the movement.
Earlier, Administrative Secretary, Ravinder Kumar shared the activities to be held during the event, including Cycle Rally, Freedom Run, Symbolic Dandi March, Painting and Essay competition and the plantation drive.
Terming the event as a curtain-raiser for the celebration of 75 years of India’s independence, Administrative Secretary Ravinder shared the objective behind organising the event is to remember people who sacrificed their lives for the country.
There were songs and a skit performance by the Ladakh Cultural Academy Department and Housing and Urban Development Department, respectively, highlighting the patriotism and the importance of keeping the environment clean. Executive Councillors of LAHDC Leh and Kargil, Advisor to LG Ladakh, Umang Narula; Additional Directorate General of Police, SS Khandare; Administrative Secretaries of UT Ladakh; Deputy Commissioner, Leh, Shrikant Balasaheb Suse; head of religious organisations, and district officers were present during the event.