Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will not celebrate his birthday on Wednesday in view of the devastation caused by cyclone Fani that hit Odisha early May this year, CM's office said on Tuesday.
Well wishers, party leaders and others have been asked not to visit Naveen Niwas, the chief minister's residence here, to wish Patnaik, who is turning 73 on Wednesday.
"Cyclone Fani has caused extensive damage in the state this year. Keeping this in mind, I have decided not to celebrate my birthday tomorrow," the chief minister's office quoted him as saying.
Cyclone Fani, which hit the coast at Puri on May 3, had claimed the lives of at least 64 people besides causing severe damage to power, telecom and other infrastructure in vast areas including state capital Bhubaneswar.
Patnaik asked his well wishers and supporters to spend time with orphans and differently able children instead of visiting his residence to wish him.
"I urge party workers and well wishers to visit their nearest orphanages and schools meant for differently able children and work for their welfare instead of visiting my residence to wish me," the chief minister said.
Describing children as the future of the country, he said something done for their well-being will certainly bring him happiness.
Stating that the people of Odisha are like his family, Patnaik said he is indebteded for their love and affection.
"My biggest inspiration is your blessings," he said. The chief minister expressed happiness that a blood donation programme is slated to be organised across the state in a big way on Wednesday.
The ruling BJD has planned to celebrate Patnaik's birthday by organising blood donation camps under "Jeevan Bindu" programme. Patnaik has been on cm's chair continously since 2000.