Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 28:
The Odisha government, which has been trying to hard sell the Nabakalebara Yatra of Lord Jagannath scheduled for this July as a mega event that would attract tourists and devotees worldwide, had strangely forgotten to request the Centre for its inclusion in the ‘Atulya Bharat’ (Incredible India) advertisement campaign of the Union Tourism Ministry for it promotion and publicity.
It is amusing that the government, which has been busy cribbing for Central grants for developing infrastructure for Nabakalebara in view of the expected large crowd for the mega event, could forget such a important component. May be the fact that it did not involve any cash transfer to the state had something to do with this.
With hardly four months left for the Nabakalebara Yatra, wisdom has finally donned on the state government whic requested to the Union Tourism Ministry for inclusion of it in its ‘Atulya Bharat’ campaign. Tourism secretary Arvind Padhi wrote a letter to the Centre on Friday requesting it to publicize the Nabakalebara Yatra.
“Since Nabakalebara ritual of Lord Jagannath is scheduled for June-July, a crowd of more than 50 lakh is expected in Puri. This rare ritual needs to be promoted and publicized both across the country and at international level. Photographs and facts in this connection have been already sent. Therefore, I request you to give Nabakalebara Yatra of Lord Jagannath a special position in the ‘Atulya Bharat’ campaign”, said the letter written by Padhi.
Padhi has further requested the Centre to place Odisha’s overall rich tourism heritage in this advertising campaign.
The letter contains details about places of tourist interest in the state and elaborates on different steps taken by the state government on this account while emphasizing the importance of advertisements on the great culture and tourism potential of Odisha to make it popular worldwide.
It may be mentioned here that the ‘Incredible Bharat’ advertisement campaign of the Union Tourism Ministry is meant for promoting and publicizing the tourism heritage of the whole country.
Writing to the Centre at this hour has exposed the sincerity of the state government in promoting and publicizing of a mega event like Nabakalebara Yatra. ‘
With very little time left for the mega event, it’s now clear that the letter written by the state government to the Centre at this hour through the secretary was for the heck of it and has no strong demand behind it.
The state government has simply finished its job by merely sending a few photographs and information on the unique event. The state government has missed the bus to draw more tourists for the mega event both from the domestic as well as the international market, feel members of the tourism industry in the state.