It was 1st of April 2017. Every year, Utkal Divis is celebrated at the Jagannath Temple Auditorium in Sector 4, Bhilai. I was in Mumbai. I got a call that I would be the Key Note Speaker at the Utkal Divas function. I had agreed as I was returning to Bhilai on 30th March 2017. My daughter was also coming to Bhilai with her mother-in-law the next day.
We reached the temple where the day Odisha was declared a separate state was to be celebrated as Utkal Divas, had our darshan of the Lord at Jagannath Temple and Shiv Mandir and went straight to the hall where the function was to be held. The function started on the arrival of the Chief Guest, the General Manager (Personnel) of Bhilai Steel Plant. It was quite late in the evening and the children were waiting for their performances to be staged. So, I decided to deliver a short speech. It was just one line, "Let us learn Odia." (Being outside Odisha, most of our children cannot read and write Odia!)
The Chief Guest also gave a short speech. Then, the programme by children started. They were attractive. It was a short and well organised programme.
In the end, dinner was served to all the artistes, their parents and the audience!
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