Chief Minister of the newly formed state, K Chandrasekhar Rao, launched the distribution of three acres of land to Dalits after hoisting the National Flag at Golconda Fort in Hyderabad.
Under the ‘Dalitulaku Bhupampini’ (land distribution to Dalits) scheme, he gave away land titles to 48 women beneficiaries from all districts in Telangana.
The venue, the historic Golconda Fort, itself was the highlight of the Independence Day celebrations in Telangana as it was a departure from the tradition of organizing the I-Day event at Parade Grounds in Secunderabad.
After paying tributes to martyrs at a memorial at Parade Grounds, the Chief Minister drove to the Golconda Fort on the outskirts of the city.
With the majestic fort forming the backdrop, he unfurled the National Flag on a pole, over 60 feet tall, from a makeshift platform as the national anthem was played.
Before unfurling the National flag, Rao received salute from the men in uniform.
Due to lack of adequate space, the traditional parade and display of tableaux of different government departments was done away with.
Rao recalled the historic significance and cultural heritage associated with the Golconda Fort, originally built by the Kakatiya kings during 10th century and the seat of power of the Qutub Shahi kingdom subsequently.
The cultural heritage of Telangana was showcased with traditional art forms and performance of Perini Sivatandavam, Gussadi, Manda Hechulu, Naubat, and Mujra dance.
Rao highlighted the number of welfare and development programmes of his government like land distribution for Dalits, farm loan waiver, provision of Rs 482 crores input subsidy to farmers, special Telangana increment for state government employees who played a key role in the separate statehood agitation, enhancing the brand image of Hyderabad by strengthening police, making the city a ‘wifi’ city among others.
The programme was inaugurated in the districts by the ministers.
Sportspersons including shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, P Kashyap, RMV Gurusaidutt, Jwala Gutta, chief national coach P Gopichand, shooter Gagan Narang, all Commonwealth Games medalists, were given away cash awards on the occasion.
As per a policy decision, he gave away Rs 50 lakh for gold medalists, Rs 25 lakh for silver medalists, Rs 15 lakh for bronze medalists and also badminton coaches Gopichand and SM Arif.
Telangana youth, M Purna and Anand Kumar, who created a record by climbing Mount Everest, were also given cash awards.