Almost 50,000 people visited the Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal in Sector 14 to pay tribute to Dalit icon and the architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar, on his 125th birth anniversary on Thursday. On the occasion, a Sadbhavna (goodwill) rally, which started at 7:30am, was taken from Noida stadium in Sector 21 to the Dalit Prerna Sthal.
District magistrate NP Singh, who was present on the occasion, along with other senior officials, flagged off the rally from Noida stadium.
“It is a moment of great pride for all of us to remember Dr Ambedkar who was a visionary and inspiration for us,” he said.
The rally was followed by four-hour-long cultural programmes by artists and schoolchildren.
“Dance, singing, painting, and various other events were organised in which children and known artists from across the country participated. It was big event on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti for which we had been preparing for the past three months,” said Ganesh Jatav, president of Dalit Uthan Sangharsh Samiti, an NGO. Later, prizes were distributed among the winners.
The rush of visitors at the Dalit Prerna Sthal forced traffic to move at a snail’s pace between 11am and 4pm. Commuters from Noida to Delhi got stuck in traffic near Mahamaya flyover and near the memorial.
The traffic police were present in adequate number to manage traffic, but visitors kept flouting norms by dropping and picking up people on the main carriageway, slowing down vehicular movement to 5 km per hour. The traffic police closed the one-way carriage of the expressway for commuters from Chilla border, diverting them to a left turn near Sector 14 A towards Sector 15 to Rajnigandha Chowk.
“We were fully prepared to manage traffic and tried our best to keep the traffic moving. We kept making public announcements and towing away some vehicles that were parked on the roads, blocking traffic,” said Dharmendra Singh Yadav, traffic inspector.
Ambedkar Jayanti was celebrated in other areas of the city too. MLA Vimla Batham addressed a gathering at Haldauni village in Noida on the occasion.
“Our party is committed to equal development of the society, which was the vision of Dr Ambedkar. We want the young generation to follow him and work in the larger interest of society,” she said.