Bhubaneswar, : Odisha Sports and Youth Services Minister Tushar Kanti Behera on Sunday flagged off the 4th edition of ‘Tour-de-Kalinga’, Asia’s longest community pedaling campaign, at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
It is organized by ‘Roots of Odisha Foundation’ and supported by ‘High Five Social Innovation’ and ‘Mission Odisha’.
While flagging of this mega campaign on pedal on save environment, global warming and drug abuse, Behera said, “I am aware and have been a part of the foundation’s great work in the past. I congratulate the team and extend the support in their great work.”
“Odisha has great landscape for eco tourism. The state government under aegis leadership of the Chief Minister has built lots of infrastructure in disaster management,” added Behera.
Chairman of ‘Roots of Odisha Foundation’, CA Sudhir Kumar Dash said “With political stability in the state, visionary Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik has done magnificent transformation in building sports infrastructure in the state.”
While unveiling the theme of ‘Tour-de-Kalinga’, Dash said that Odisha has the unique landscape that is found nowhere in the planet. The Golden Triangle, Chillika Lagoon, Eastern Ghats and Thick Forest with aquatic and wildlife is the ideal destination for eco-tourism. This will not just unleash the best secret of Odisha but will add to the tourism potential of the state. Need to mention here that tourism is the biggest employer worldwide.
“We are working on ground since 2015 to promote this 1300 km long route to create a corridor for cycle tourism. The world is going for a toss with increasing pollution, loss of Environment and global warming. It’s an imperative thing that India is poised to lead the world and show the path in carbon management and sustainable development with the G-20 crown coming in India’s way. Let Odisha be the torch bearer for other state,” said Dash.
Narrating further on the significance of this Tour, Dash highlighted what this tour offers to the rider.
“An epic ride in Odisha means, a state known for its pristine golden beaches, world famous heritage sites of Konark Sun Temple, Lord Jagannath Puri Temple, city of Temples Bhubaneshwar, Asia’s biggest brackish water lake Chilika and lagoons, dense forests, elephant reserve, tiger reserve, mesmerizing eastern ghats, Ragi and Alsi cultivation, dance, art, a mix of North and South Indian cuisine, peaceful and hospitable people the land of great emperor Ashoka who embraced Buddhism and Rath Yatra juggernaut,” Dash said.
The other convener of this tour, Yogendra Singh who is participating since 2017 said he has travelled many Scandinavian countries, but the beauty of Odisha is unparallel with grand culture, art and food science available even in the remotest part of Odisha.
“Not to forget the efficiency of the ministers here the simple way of them making available all the time for public cause. The food is uniquely invaluable and so are the people and their hospitality,” said Singh.
Renowned Journalist and founder of Mission Odisha Madhusudan Mishra welcomed the riders from outside and said that the government should focus on ecotourism and the route opted by ‘Tour-de-Kalinga’ team is best suited to promote eco and adventure tourism. Unfortunately, this is yet to catch the attention of all concerned to build adequate infrastructure in these areas.
Social activist and former MLA Dr. Dilip Srichandan, Senior journalist Kishore Dwibedi, social activist Bipin Mohanty were also present in the gathering.