People clean villages to mark Bihar Divas

March 22nd, 2011 - 3:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, March 22 (IANS) Thousands of people across Bihar cleaned up their villages Tuesday, marking a unique start to the much awaited Bihar Divas celebrations.

Principal Secretary HRD Anjani Kumar Singh told IANS that villagers voluntarily carried out cleaning work in 45,000 villages to make it a special day. Bihar Divas marks the day when the British carved out the state from the Bengal Presidency March 22, 1912.

Singh said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will formally kickstart the celebrations Tuesday evening by floating 99 lamps at the historic Gandhi Maidan, the main hub of celebrations, to mark the 99th anniversary of creation of Bihar.

“In all villages also, people will light 99 lamps to mark their participation in Bihar Divas,” Singh said.

The state will mark its centenary in 2012 with programmes throughout the year. The chief minister has said the celebration was planned to help advertise Bihar.

The historic Gandhi Maidan here is being readied for grand celebrations to mark Bihar Divas. In Patna, thousands of people are expected to gather at the historic grounds from Tuesday to Thursday, said an official from the department of art, culture and youth affairs.

“It has been completely changed. Dozens of artists, including foreigners, have decorated it like never before to depict the rich culture, tradition and heritage of Bihar,” Singh said.

The main entrance gate - 30 ft high and 80 ft wide - is being constructed with images depicting the essence of rural Bihar.

“Artists have chosen to decorate the gateway with Tikuli and Manjusha art along with Madhubani paintings, all popular art forms from Bihar,” said Shouvik Narayan of Kosha Fantasies, one of the three artist groups engaged in the decoration work.

Two showcase gates on Bihar’s popular festival of Chhath and rural game jhijhia have also been made.

A brainchild of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Bihar Divas was first celebrated in 2010.

Tuesday has been declared a public holiday in the state.

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