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Since 1st March, 1999
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Star, scheme shower at Goonj

Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta and playback singer Alka Yagnik as star guests, a shower of welfare schemes and inauguration of several key development projects — like every year, Goonj Mahotsav-cum-Vikas Mela was a grand affair this time too.

The three-day annual cultural extravaganza, held by deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto at his home turf Silli, 50km from the state capital, ended on December 20.

The inaugural day, which was dedicated to women, witnessed the presence of Jamshedpur girl Dutta, also a former beauty queen, tourism minister Vimla Pradhan and team India skipper M.S. Dhoni’s wife Sakshi. The second (December 19) and third days (December 20) were dedicated to farmers and youths, respectively.

On December 18, chief minister Arjun Munda laid the foundation stone for a polytechnic, a women’s entrepreneurship training building spread over two acres, a model office building — all at Silli — and an urban water scheme that will supply piped drinking water to the town.

“Jharkhand has been endowed with vast mineral and natural resources. Yet, its people are poor, as no effort has been made to link its people with technical know-how. This polytechnic will help bridge that gap,” said Munda.

The next day, Mahto himself inaugurated a deer park at Ramdera and Muri Tungri Park in order to promote tourism in his home constituency and a khadi and silk parks to train youths.

The venue was lined up with as many as 108 kiosks highlighting the schemes and development stories of government departments, public sectors units and NGOs. On the concluding day, Yagnik sang famous Bollywood numbers and Dutta set the stage on fire.

Performances by tribal artistes, mainly Mukund Nayak and group, were a constant fixture on all three days.

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