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30,000 youth retrace 1857 uprising
May 10, 2007 15:35 IST
Around 30,000 youngsters from all over the country revisited the memories of the historic 1857 uprising and the famous march of the rebel Sepoy, and took part in a 60-kilometre rally from Meerut.
The rally was received at the Delhi border by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and members of her cabinet. "The uprising of 1857 is a source of inspiration for today's youth too," she said.
"Over 30,000 youths from all the 623 districts of the country today entered Delhi. Although, we started with lesser people many of them joined us on the way," Shakeel Ahmed Khan of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, which is organising the march, said.
The rally was kicked off from Meerut's Kranti Park by Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Mani Shankar Aiyar on May 7.
"The march has substantial representation from far off places like islands of Andaman and Nicobar, northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir. More than 6,000 women are part of the rally," Khan said.
The participants, who were carrying colourful buntings and banners, were welcomed with flower petals being showered on them. The event had halts in Meerut, Modinagar, Muradnagar and Mohan Nagar before entering the capital.
The participants will have a halt today in Yamuna banks and assemble at the Red Fort on May 11 for the inaugural function of the year-long celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the first war of independence.
The function at the Red Fort will be attended by President A P J Abdul Kalam, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Dressed in red, green and blue colours, the youngsters marched to the tunes of patriotic songs playing in the background and held aloft banners, flags and posters depicting nationalistic messages referring to the 1857 War of Independence.
More than 50 participants needed immediate medical treatment on the way but no untoward incident was reported, Khan added.