Famous Annual Jhiri Mela depicting the rich cultural and religious heritage of Jammu commenced here today with traditional fervor and gaiety.Member Parliament Shamsher Singh Manhas inaugurated the Mela as thousands of devotees from across northern India reached Jhiri Village to pay obeisance to peasant saint, Baba Jito in whose memory the fair is held every year. MLA Marh, Sukhnandan Kumar Choudhary, MLA Doda Shakti Parihar, MLA Chamb Dr. Krishan Bhagat, Deputy Commissioner Jammu Kumar Rajeev Ranjan, Mela Officer (SDM) Paramjeet Singh, Additional Mela Officer S. Ranjeet Singh, Mela Secretary Ram Ditta Sharma and other senior functionaries of police and district administration were also present on the occasion.The Mela is held every year in memory of Baba Jitto and his daughter Bua Kodi.The Mela is attended by lakhs of devotees from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and other parts of northern India.Paying rich tribute to Baba Jitto, Member Parliament described him as a revolutionary farmer who fought against the feudal system and against exploitation of marginalized farmers.
The Member Parliament also witnessed a dangal competition organised by Mela Management Committee which witnessed bouts of professional wrestlers from different parts of the country.Manhas lauded the efforts of Jhiri Mela Management Committee and the district administration for making excellent arrangements for the visitors. He inspected awareness camps and exhibition stalls installed by various government departments including Department of Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture, Floriculture, Handicrafts, Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited, Animal Husbandry, Sheep Husbandry and various other departments. The stalls have been established to educate the people about various welfare schemes being implemented by the state and centre governments for their benefit.Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages presented a cultural programme depicting the rich cultural heritage of the Dogras.