Malkangiri: The district-level cultural festival, Malyabanta Mahotsav, started here Friday. On the inaugural day a rally was organised from the Jagannath Temple to the DNK main pandal.
Thousands of woman carrying holy water pots on their heads took part in the rally. Tribal folk dances like Koya, Bonda, Didiya and Shantali were also held during the rally.
The rally marched to Malkangiri town where many school and college students and SHG members joined. Finally, it reached the Malyabanta pandal on Dandakyarankya playground.
Collector Manish Agarwal, DRDA Project Director Lingraj Panda, District Information and Public Relations Officer Dr Gunanidhi Nayak, Additional Project Director Manas Mishra and ITDA Project Administrator Ramkrushna Gond were present at the rally.
Malkangiri MLA Manas Madkami, Chitrakonda MLA Dambaru Sisa, Zilla Parishad president Dasharath Padiami, former MLA Mukund Sodi and thousands of people also participated in the rally.
SC and ST Development Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi was present during the evening cultural programme along with Nabarangpur MP Balabhadra Majhi, MLA Manas Madkami, Chitrakonda MLA Dambaru Sisa and local political leaders. After inaugurating the event the guests went around the stalls at the Pallishree Mela.
Eight platoons of the police and Special Operation Group were deployed at the venue along with five DSPs and 10 inspectors.
During the cultural festival, a tourist from Belgium was seen. He took photos, selfies and talked to the locals.