Demand for two day holiday for Nuakhai gains momentum

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Subrat Mohanty

Sambalpur28th August: The demand for a two-day public holiday for the Nuakhai has gained momentum in Western Odisha. The agrarian festival Nuakhai is scheduled to be held on September 1 this year.  

While many social organizations have submitted memorandums to the Odisha Chief Minister over the demand, the leader of opposition in the Odisha assembly, Jayanarayan Mishra has also written to the Chief Minister in this regard. 

In the letter, Mishra has urged the government to reconsider the number of holidays for Nuakhai and declare 2 days of holiday to observe the festival in Western Odisha,

Similarly, Bargarh MP, Suresh Pujari has also written to the Odisha Chief Minister to declare a two-day holiday for Nuakhai. 

In the letter, Pujari has urged the government to declare the day following Nuakhai as a Public holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act.

Some social organizations of the region have also demanded 2 days public holiday for the festival

Member of Paschimanchal Peoples’ Forum, Sapan Mishra said, we have also submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister over the issue. Nuakhai is the most important festival for the people of Western Odisha.  During the celebration of Nuakhai, the people of the region worship their presiding deities as a mark of gratitude for bumper crops, good rain, and favorable weather for farming.  Nuakhai is celebrated in Western Odisha irrespective of caste, creed, and religion, he said.

Sapan said, it is a festival that is observed with family members and it cannot be celebrated away from home. Thousands of people of Western Odisha are working outside. At least 2 days of the public holiday is essential for the people of Western Odisha so that people working outside will not face any problems in coming to their native places and going back to their workplace after observing the festival with their families. Hence, we have demanded the government to declare the day following Nuakhai a holiday, he said.

Sapan further said, earlier, the holiday was being declared during Nuakhai in Western Odisha only. However, the state government later announced a one-day state holiday for the festival. And for central government employees working in Odisha, the state government was writing to the union government to declare Nuakhai a public holiday in the state under the Negotiable Instruments Act so that the people of Western Odisha working in banks and insurance sectors besides other central government offices were also getting the leave to observe the festival,  However, Nuakhai has not been included in the list of public holidays of 2022 under the Negotiable Instrument Act, he said

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