Barinder Saluja, Chandigarh ,July 3: The Queen’s Baton today reached Chandigarh and received an overwhelming response. It was accorded a rousing reception at the Matka Chowk, near Rose Garden where it was received on behalf of the administration by Secretary, UT Sports-cum-Finance Mr Sanjay Kumar along with eminent sports person Padam Shri Milkha Singh and other eminent sports persons from city including Arjuna and Dronacharya awardees like Rajinder Singh, Arjuna awardee Nirmal Jeet Singh, Wg. Cdr. Satish Bhatia, Veteran G.S. Virdi, Sumati Kanwar, Suman Malhan, Gurdsih Pal, Satinder Sharma, Harjinder Singh and Tejinder Kumar. The prominent Sports persons were escorted by the Academy’s players & local athletes on their way to the Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, Chandigarh. At the Cricket Stadium the baton was carried by famous cricketer Kapil Dev and Olympic Gold Medalist, Abhinav Bindra before it was handed over to Mr Kumar who then handed it over to the Advisor to the UT Administrator, Mr Pradip Mehra. Balloons in tricolor were released in the air by cheerful students who had come to watch the show.
Welcoming the baton he said, “I am absolutely delighted and proud to welcome the Queen’s Baton for Common Wealth Games 2010 in to Chandigarh and it indeed is a privilege to be part of this historic moment”. He further said, “The Baton’s journey symbolizes the unity and shared ideals of the Common Wealth nations and it enables communities beyond the host city to share the celebrations. This event is a multinational, multi-sport event which involves thousands of athletes from the members of the Commonwealth Nations.” The Queen’s Baton was accompanied by a team of 89 officials along with 26 vehicles.
A first-day postal cover on the traditional work of Punjab ‘Phulkari’ and a postal stamp, depicting Shera- the mascot of the games- and the baton, was also released on this occasion by the chief guest.
The audiences were regaled by a melodious band display by the Military Brass Bands. The colourful Bhangra performance put by the students of the city schools and colleges introduced the outside visitors with the enthusiasm synonymous with this young city.
The Chandigarh Administration had made complete arrangements to ensure the safety of the Baton and all steps were taken to ensure that no untoward incident took place.
The Baton will leave for Himachal Pradesh via the Mehatpur border tomorrow. It will travel around 560 km in Himachal Pradesh before entering into Uttarakhand through Paonta Sahib on July 6.