In a letter to the Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Uttarakhand Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Usha Negi has requested that a public holiday be announced on the traditional festival of Igas to be celebrated on November 8, 2019.
Negi wrote that the festival is important for the people of Uttarakhand and it exhibits the culture and tradition of the state. With most oif the citizens especially youngsters unaware of the festival, it is important for the government to raise awareness about the same.
Igas or Budhi Diwali was celebrated in the Himalayan state in earlier days but has dwindled from the public consciousness in recent years. Many known personalities are coming forward in order to revive the festival. People light lamps and also sing folk songs on this day.
“The announcement of a public holiday on Igas will make the residents and migrants of the state aware of the festival. It will be a step in the right direction under the Mera Gaon, Meri Pehchan scheme," the letter said.
The commission cited the public holiday announced on Chhath Puja, celebrated mainly by natives of Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh.
"Since Uttarakhand has many migrants from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, the State Government had announced a public holiday on the occasion of Chhath Puja.
The same should be done on the occasion of Igas," stated Negi in her letter. It is pertinent to mention here that there has been rising public sentiment in favour of declaring a public holiday on the traditional festival of Igas.