Governor Acharya Devvrat while presiding over the concluding ceremony of the week-long international Shivratri fair at Mandi on Monday said that fairs and festivals are irrespirable part of our lives which inspire us to respect and preserve our rich cultural heritage. He said these celebrations should not be only a formality, but we should protect the rich colours of traditions witnessed during these festivals for prosperity as they affirm our identity as a great State and Nation.He said "Shiva is an indicator of the welfare and well-being of humanity and this festival in the name of Shiva depicts our faith in mankind" adding that God is one but is worshiped in various forms because of his virtues. He gives us the message of living with love, brotherhood and unity". He expressed his concern over the fact that terrorism has been promoted in the name of religion while the sole purpose of religion is to serve the humanity.Acharya Devvrat said that Shivratri was the festival of Lord Shiva and the genesis of Shiva was for the welfare of mankind as he gave the message of the welfare of the entire world. The Governor said that fairs and festivals of Himachal Pradesh are unique in their own way and are meant for celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the State. The fairs and festivals provide new energy to people and they should ensure active participation in these celebrations. He said that it is the responsibility of every individual to eradicate social evils from the society. He appealed to the youth to respect the rich culture of the State and carry it forward to the next generation. The Governor complimented the Mela Committee for keeping the theme of the festival as "Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao" and said that girls are playing an important role in every area of development.
The daughters are the beauty of the house and today on this auspicious occasion, we should take a resolution that no discrimination will be done between son and daughter in future, he added.The Governor also called the people to come forward against the evil of drug addiction so that the future generation could be saved.He honoured the winners of various events organized by the Mela Committee during this festival.A colourful cultural programme was performed by the students on the occasion.Earlier, Acharya Devvrat paid obeisance at Madho Rai temple, the chief Deity of the town and participated in the Jaleb Shobha Yatra from temple to Paddal Mela ground. The followers carrying palanquins of their Deities participated in the event. A huge crowd turned up with full zeal and vigour to witness the event despite heavy rains.The locals draped in the colourful attires thronged the procession carrying along the palanquins of the local deities towards the Paddal Mela ground.Deputy Commissioner Mandi and Chairman Mela Committee Rugved Thakur detailed various activities undertaken during the festival. He also honoured the Governor on the occasion. He said that this time only four cultural nights were organized and the amount of two cultural evenings has been released to the martyr's families. Besides, one cultural night was dedicated to the army personnel in the name of "Sainik Shaurya". Chairperson, Nagar Parishad Mandi Suman Thakur and other prominent people of the town were also present on the occasion.