KATRA, JANUARY 27 – The 72nd Republic Day was celebrated yesterday with traditional fervour and patriotism at Katra, the base town for pilgrimage to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji.
The main function at Katra was held at the Shrine Board’s Sports Complex, where Mr. Ramesh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, hoisted the tricolour and took salute from the contingents drawn from J&K Police, CRPF, NCC and school children.
Speaking on the occasion, the CEO Shrine Board greeted the people on this joyous occasion. He recalled the sacrifices made by the great national leaders for attaining freedom for the country from foreign rule. He added that India is the largest and most vibrant democracy in the world and has made tremendous headway in education, health, varied other fields of human endeavour and development. He underscored the need for making untiring endeavours by one and all to carry forward the country on the path of rapid progress and prosperity. He also dwelt on the several new initiatives recently taken by the Shrine Board for facilitation of the devotees which include launching of Mata Vaishno Devi Mobile App, Home Delivery of Pooja Prasad, Call Centre etc. Referring to the pilgrimage to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, he said that 2020 remained a challenging year due to COVID-19, adding that, however, the yatra to the Holy Shrine is now progressing smoothly and during January this year so far around 3.50 lakh pilgrims have visited the Holy Shrine.
A cultural programme based on the theme of patriotism and national integration was also presented by the school children on this occasion. Mr. Ramesh Kumar felicitated the contingents and the cultural troupes who participated in the Republic Day function besides the sports persons of the Shrine Board’s Sports Complex for excelling in various sports and games. He also felicitated the officers and officials of various departments and organisations and the media persons for doing a commendable job during the pandemic.
Among those present on the occasion were Mr. Vimal Indu, President, Municipal Committee, Katra; Mr. Vivek Verma, Additional CEO, SMVDSB; Mr. Hem Kant Prasher, Chief Accounts Officer; Dr. Sunil Sharma, Dr. Jagdish Mehra, Mr. Deepak Dubey and Mr. Vishavjeet Singh, Dy. CEOs; Mr. Ashok Kumar, SDM, Katra; Mr. Amit Bhasin, SP, Katra; and Mr. Jitendra Kumar Gupta, Commandant, CRPF 6th Bn. Others who participated in the function included Members of Municipal Committee, Katra, senior civil and police officers, prominent citizens, heads of various educational institutions, media persons, officers and staff of the Shrine Board, a number of people of the area, teachers, school children and the pilgrims.
As part of the Republic Day celebrations, Mr. Ramesh Kumar, CEO, SMVDSB, also hoisted the tricolour at the Central Office of the Shrine Board at Katra. Among those present on the occasion were officers and employees of the Shrine Board. Sweets were also distributed among the children on this occasion.
At Bhawan, the flag was hoisted by Mr. Naresh Kumar, SDM Bhawan, in the presence of CRPF, Police and Shrine Board staff.
In view of the COVID-19, these functions were held by strictly following the social distancing norms and other precautionary measures.