'Tiranga Run' remembers tri-colour designer

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Vijayawada, Feb 3 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Governor N D Tiwari today flagged off the 'Tiranga Run,' organised in honour of Pingali Venkaiah who designed the national flag, at the Swaraj Maidan here.

In his address, the Governor congratulated the people for honouring Pingali Venkaiah who presented the national flag to Mahatma Gandhi.

''We should be united in building a stronger India in 21st century in all fields especially Defence and Nano-technology,'' he added.

Mr Tiwar said the Supreme Court had taken a good decision by allowing people to unfurl the national flag on housetops during Independence Day.

Later, IAF sky divers performed dare-devil feats in six gliders from a height of 1,000 feet holding the tricolur in their hands.

Andhra Pradesh Animal Husbandry Minister Mandali Buddha Prasad laid foundation stone for a memorial building in the name of Pingali Venkaiah, costing Rs ten lakh.

Vijayawada Lok Sabha Member L Rajagopal said he would urge the Centre to take steps for installing Venkaiah's bronze statue in Parliament.

In his message, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said ''there are many unsung heroes who dedicated their lives to the cause of the country's freedom and Pingali was one of them.

''Man is losing his health to earn money and become rich and then again spend money to regain the lost health,'' he said.

In his address, Kurukshetra MP Navin Jindal said he was very happy to be in the city and could pay tributes to the legendary Pingali.

Though there were changes in the flag design initially, it was finally adopted in 1947, he recalled.

Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker K R Suresh Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council Chairman Chakrapani, Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kamaldi and Union Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju were among the prominent persons who attended the ceremony.

Folk dances and folk art forms including Pagativesham, Pulivesham, Gurrapuswari, Kolatam, Tapputagullu and Buttabommalu were performed along the ten-km route of the run.

Today's participation in the run was the highest ever in the country as about 30,000 people had participated in the Mumbai event.

The city wore a festive look with all thoroughfares decorated with tri-colours and images of freedom fighters.

UNI TEAM/CS RSA HT2122

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