Kolkata, Aug 15 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unfurled the tricolour and inspected a colourful parade here on Tuesday as the state joined the nation in celebrating the 71st Independence Day.
The main function at the arterial Indira Gandhi Sarani (erstwhile Red Road) was attended by Banerjee, her ministers, senior bureaucrats and members of the diplomatic corps.
Banerjee hoisted the national flag and inspected a guard of honour given by the state and city police.
Various wings of the police and NCC (National Cadet Corps) members also participated in a parade as a hovering helicopter showered petals.
Folk dance troupes from different districts including Cooch Behar, South 24 Parganas and Birbhum depicted the diverse culture of the country with colourful performances.
A dance troupe from Cooch Behar performed the traditional Bairati dance while a group from South 24 Pargana district’s Sundarban region depicted the life of fishermen and the local custom of worshiping the ‘Bonbibi’, the guardian spirit of the forests venerated by both the Hindu and the Muslim residents.
The folk dancer of Birbhum graced the occasion by performing Chhau dance, a folk dance form that is acclaimed internationally.
Government departments, including Information and Cultural Affairs as also Forests, brought out colourful tableaux highlighting their achievements and important social issues.
There were tableaux depicting the state’s rich cultural heritage and various schemes undertaken by the government, central among them being Banerjee’s pet project Kanyashree aimed at checking child marriage in Bengal.
Another tableau that caught the eye was that of the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup, starting on October 6, that is being hosted by India.
As many as 52 budding footballers from the state displayed soccer skills under the guidance of former international player Manas Bhattacharya.
Banerjee awarded the Chief Minister’s Police medal for outstanding service to ADG & IGP-CID Dr Rajesh Kumar, Bidhannagar CP Gyanwant Singh and Kolkata Police Additional CP III Supratim Sarkar, and other officers.
After the Trinamool came to power in 2011, Banerjee started the ritual of the Independence Day parade at the Indira Gandhi Sarani.
The Independence Day was celebrated with equal vigour and enthusiasm in schools, colleges and government institutions across the state.
The south Bengal frontier of the Border Security Force (BSF) observed the joyous occasion at their frontier headquarters on Lord Sinha Road here.
Inspector General of south Bengal frontier P.S.R. Anjaneyulu unfurled the national flag while a special guard of BSF troopers gave the national salute to the tricolour and sang the national anthem.
Taking oath to secure the border areas of the country, the frontier force also organised the Independence Day celebrations at various BSF establishments including the International Check post (ICP) of Petrapole on the India-Bangladesh border where a large number of people from both sides gathered to witness the ceremony.
The BSF troopers also handed over fruits and sweets to border guards of Bangladesh as a gesture of mutual respect.
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