A three-day extravaganza of music, murals, memories and much more will begin at Birsa Munda Football Stadium and Morabadi grounds in Ranchi from Thursday to mark Jharkhand's 13th Statehood Day, which also coincides with the birth anniversary of iconic tribal leader.
The cultural main course will be hosted at the six-acre stadium. From hotbod television presenter and actress Mandira Bedi to playback singer KK, celebrations promise to be electrifying despite the absence of Dabangg music-makers Sajid-Wajid who were earlier supposed to be part of the star-studded performer list.
"All arrangements are complete. We want people to come in large numbers and take part in the function," said Ranchi deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey after reviewing preparations with his team on Wednesday.
He said the three-and-a-half hour programme would begin with a petal shower from the sky at 2.30pm soon after Chief Minister Arjun Munda and Governor Syed Ahmed arrived at the venue. Chief secretary S.K. Choudhary will welcome guests and dignitaries, thereby flagging off the celebrations.
The stadium has a capacity of 30,000 and galleries have been demarcated for public and participants. Of the twenty entrances, the audience will be allowed to take their seats through gate Nos. 7, 8, 10, 19 and 20. Entry is free. While cultural programmes, steeped in patriotism and nationalism, will be staged on a giant platform erected in the middle of the stadium, a smaller stage on the western side will host VVIPs.
Besides Bollywood celebrities, students from various capital schools will sway to spirited numbers like the title song of Chak de India and Kandho se milte hain kandhe, kadmo se kadam milte hain from the movie Lakshya. Local artistes will present Paika, the traditional war dance.
Meanwhile at Morabadi grounds, a three-day youth fair will kick off. The Yuva Evam Kaushal Vikas Mela will see nine colossal tents with 200 stalls, where different government departments will showcase their achievement and future plans. Seminars will delve into topics like agriculture, animal husbandry and co-operatives.
"State co-ordination committee chairman Shibu Soren, along with chief minister Munda, will inaugurate the fair at 11am on Thursday. Entry is free," said K.K. Soan, the state agriculture director who is overseeing arrangements at Morabadi grounds.
The fair too will get a cultural facelift on Friday and Saturday. "November 16 will see performances by folk artiste Prabhat Kumar Mahto, singer Soumya Rai and theatre personality Ajay Malkani, while Deepak Tirkey and Shardha Rai will croon for the audience the day after," Soan added.
Birsa Samadhi Sthal near Distillery Bridge in Kokar is also being readied for the big day.
Murals on the life and struggle of Birsa Munda, by noted artist Amitabh Mukherjee, will be open for public viewing at the memorial. "It took me five months to create two murals. While one talks of Birsa's life in details, the other shows his fight against the British in Dombari Buru," Mukherjee said.
Governor Ahmed and chief minister Munda are slated to visit the Samadhi Sthal and pay their respects between 9am and 10am on Thursday.