Kolkata/Guwahati, March 22: The 20-day-long pan-Northeast car rally Purvottar Bharat Parikrama was flagged off on Wednesday to reach out to the youth, freedom fighters, gallantry award winners besides common people in the northeastern region, an official said.

On the eve of "Shaheed Diwas" in remembrance of and as a tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for their beliefs and principles, Army's Eastern Command chief Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita flagged off the "Purvotar Bharat Parikrama", a trans-Eastern Command car rally in Fort Williams, Kolkata.

It was on March 23, 1931, when three bravehearts -- Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev sacrificed their lives for India's Independence.

Defence spokesman Lt. Col. Mahendra Rawat said that the 20-day long car rally would cover a total distance of around 4,000 km across 8 northeastern states -- Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya navigating through extreme terrain to include Nathu-la in Sikkim, Se-la tunnel and Bum-la in Arunachal Pradesh, the War memorial at Kohima and many historical locations.

He said that "Purvotar Bharat Parikrama" is part of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', the year-long Platinum Jubilee of India's Independence, showcasing the country's journey and the achievements of her people over the past 75 years.

"The car rally aims to strengthen nationalism and motivate youth to join the Indian Army. The initiative would serve as a unique platform to showcase the cultural diversity of the northeastern region, encourage tourism and strengthen the bond between the people of the eight states and the rest of the country," Lt. Col. Rawat said.

During the journey of the rally, a series of motivational programmes have been planned at various schools and colleges.

The rally, which comprises 38 members and 10 vehicles, would culminate on April 12 at Umroi in Meghalaya.

The national project of "Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav" is being conducted in collaboration with the North Eastern Council under the Department of North Eastern Region (DoNER) of the Central government.

(IANS | Posted on 23 March 2023, 1695523674 44O192O254O173)