A group of men in this southern Odisha town are hoisting the national flag every day for the last four years to create awareness about patriotic spirit among the people. The group members assemble near the Jagannath temple in Kamapalli area in the city every day at about 8 am where they hoist the national flag and salute it before commencing their daily work, since August 15, 2018. “Not even a single day passed without hoisting the national tricolour, despite the rains and lockdown period”, said Ram Kumar Patra, who initiated the practice.
Patra, a social activist said they decided to hoist the tricolour every day to create awareness about the patriotic spirit among the people. “We invite a new person from the city every day for flag hoisting. If no one is available, any one from our group, even the priest of the nearby temple, hoist the flag and play the national anthem at 8 am,” he said. When the national anthem is played, even the passers-by on the road pause to pay respect to the tricolour, he said.
We thanked the youths, especially Patra, for continuing to practice the spirit of patriotism among the people by hoisting the flag daily,” said Subash Chandra Sahu, a doctor in the city, who hoisted the flag on Saturday. Before 2018, they had only planned to hoist the national flag on Independence and Republic Days each year, said Ashok Nimai, who is participating in the flag hosting every day. We feel very much proud of the country, when we hoist and salute the flag, added Maheswar Pani, the temple priest, who hoisted the flag several times.
Patra said one of the members of the group was assigned to down the flag before the sunset, as before the amendment of the flag code, allowed that the tricolour could be hoisted between sunrise and sunset. He said they used the flag made in khadi and changed it every fortnight or month, when its colour faded or turned dirty due to dust. “We have decided to continue it every day in future”, said Bapini Panda, another member of the group.