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Preparations afoot for 86th session of Srimanta Shankerdev Sangha

From a Correspondent

Biswath Chariali, Jan 31: The preparations for the 86th session of Srimanta Shankerdev Sangha are afoot at Gopalpur near Gohpur in Biswath district. The session will be held with a four-day long programme from February 4 to February 7.

There is a war-like situation these days at Ramanda Samany Kshetra, the venue of the session of the largest religious body in the entire Northeast India. The session will be held under the aegis of Gohpur district unit of the Sangha and the reception committee, with Ganesh Handique as the president, Utpal Borah (MLA of Gohpur LAC) as the working president and Guram Saikia as general secretary, is trying to make all arrangements for the grand success of the event in association with 46 sub-committees.

The five anchalik committees and 188 Prathamiks under the district unit are working overnight to install the main pandal, mghar, delegate camps, atghar, exhibition are, book fair, medical camp and other requirements for it. Almost 80 per cent work has already been finished. Around 105 makeshift camps have been constructed to serve lakhs of delegates who will come from all over the State. The main pandal measuring 500×200 sq ft has the capacity to offer seats to 10,000 people at a time. The reception committee has cultivated potatoes in six bighas of land through organic farming to cater to the need of the devotees and around 20 quintals of potatoes are expected from it. On the other hand, two big safuras are being made with cane, bamboo and wood measuring 12 feet high and 6 feet wide to be installed in the main gate along with statues of Mahapurush Srimanta Shankerdev, martyr Kaklata Baruah and Mukunda Kakati by the Satan Mandali.

Besides, 4,000 various types of flowers have been planted to decorate the flag hoisting area and the main entrance to Ramanda Kshetra under the aegis of Pub Ghaghara Prathamik. Around 3,000-metre long chain made of bamboo will cover the whole area. Replicas Gadur Pakshi, one-horned rhinoceros, dinosaur and of Gayan-Bayan will also embellish the area. Around 86 valuable trees will be planted on day one. Hundreds of women under different Prathamiks are busy these days in preparing pitha, ladoo and other delicacies to serve the devotees while 5,000 volunteers were trained to offer service to the devotees during the session.

A good number of books and jourls will be released on the occasion. These include the English version of Bhakti Ratkar, Dharmayodha Ramakanta Muktiar Atar Jivani aru Rachavali, Baikuntha Prakash, and Bhakti Kunja. A 500-page souvenir having writings in Assamese, English, Hindi, Nepali, Bodo and Mising languages, titled Bhakati Baibhav, edited by Dr Milan Neog will also be released on the occasion.  Several dignitaries including the office bearers of Srimanta Shankerdev Sangha, Chief Minister Sarvanda Sonowal, State Fince, Education and Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma, DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain, Vice-Chancellor of Mahapurush Srimanta Shankerdev University Dr Kandarpa Kumar Deka, among others will grace the session.