Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 24:

Happiness knew no bounds when a tribal couple from a remote Odisha village came to know about being invited to the national capital for the Republic Day parade this year.

Niranjan Wadeka and Hundadi Wadeka from Khambesi village under Bissam Cuttack Block in Rayagada district are among the chosen few.

They are among the 40 tribal invitees from across the country who will witness the grand show of India’s military might and a series of tableaux highlighting its cultural diversity at the Republic Day parade.

They will stay in the national capital till February 2 and are scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Teen Murti Bhawan premises after witnessing the grand parade. President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari are also slated to felicitate the tribal couple.

“We are elated to have been chosen to be the guests at the Republic Day parade this year. I would brief Prime Minister Narendra Modi about Dongria culture during our meeting with him,” a jubilant Niranjan expressed.

It may be mentioned here that a Bonda couple – Dhabalu Sisa and his wife Samari from Bandiguda under Mudulipada gram panchayat from remote Malkangiri district – was invited last year for the Republic day parade.