| Huts being built by tribal people at the Adivasi Mela in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee |
Bhubaneswar, Jan. 25: All efforts will be made to project Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s pro-tribal image during the 15-days Adivasi Mela which will kick off from Saturday.
Besides the photographs of tribals, only one picture that has found place in the Adivasi Mela is that of the chief minister. It is likely to be the last Adivasi Mela to be organised before the Assembly elections.
The SC and ST department is working overtime to present a pro-tribal image of Naveen to counter the tribal card played by Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh during his visit to tribal belts of Kalahandi and Nuapada districts.
This year the Adivasi Mela has been extended to 15 days from 11 days. Director, SC and ST, A.B. Ota said: “The Adivasi Mela will continue till February 9 and will be open to the public from 2 pm to 9 pm.”
Sources said Naveen was also likely to make a few announcements for the welfare of tribals while inaugurating the mela.
“Chief minister will announce a number of measures for tribal development on January 26. We are working in this regard. We can not divulge any thing at this moment,” said a senior official of the state government.
The Adivasi Mela has been divided into eight segments and will project tribal market, tribal village, tribal art and crafts, tribal food plaza and tribal cultural events. Around 156 stalls will be opened. People can get the tribal products from the fair. “Around 70,000 people are expected to visit the meal every day,” said Ota.
Residents of the city will also be able to witness six tribal dance forms. In order to make the mela a peaceful, elaborate security arrangements have been made.