The 50th Punjabi Suba anniversary celebrations started on a grand note on Thursday with a spectacular performance by over 1,600 students wearing beautiful costumes.
Punjab education minister Daljit Singh Cheema reached the stadium at 9.30am to oversee the arrangements and later inaugurated the heritage fair at the multipurpose hall within the stadium.
However, chief guest Sukhbir Singh Badal reached the venue only at 12.30pm even though the function was to begin at 11am as per the invitation card.
Stadium packed to capacity
Meanwhile, many students who arrived at the venue could not attend the function as the stadium’s seating capacity was exceeded. Over 30,000 students reached the stadium which has a capacity of 25,000. Several students were found sitting on pavements on the roadside for more than six hours. A student on the condition of anonymity said, “We were asked to sit outside as there was no seat left in the stadium. Why did the authorities ask us to come, when we are not allowed to attend the function? We were made to sit for six hours outside the stadium and the teachers allowed us to go only 2pm.”
Those inside the stadium were also not to happy as the chief guest arrived late and they had to sit out in open with food and water for hours.
Pankaj Kumar, a student, said “We were made to sit in the open from 10am to 2pm and were not even allowed to go drink water or use the washroom. The authorities should have covered three blocks in the stadium, as it was difficult to sit in hot weather for long hours.” Great Khali, the wrestler, was one of the guests at the function. He addressed the students and asked them to avoid junk food and eat healthy. He exhorted students to participate in any game of their choice and keep practicing to become perfect.
When Punjab education minister, Daljit Singh Cheema reached the stadium, he was first introduced as district education officer and later as PEM.
When students of BVM School, Kitchlu Nagar, were performing the music stopped abruptly due to some technical fault, the students were asked to leave the stage.