Independence Day was celebrated with all fervour by people in Mangalore on Monday. Nehru Maidan, the venue for the 65th Independence Day celebrations organsied by the district administration, was filled with people including people's representatives, the police, NCC cadets and schoolchildren.

Flying demonstration of a mini-remote controlled helicopter was the cynosure of all eyes. The demonstration by Ratnakar Nayak of Indian Aero Modelling Society, Mangalore, drew people of all ages.

Children and elders ran after Mr. Nayak after the copter landed successfully following “pushparchane” (showering of petals) on the crowd.

Mr. Nayak told The Hindu that the engine-based copter weighed 4.5 k.g. and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) was used to operate it. Its fuel carrying capacity stood at 350 ml.

He said that it could be controlled up to 1.5 k.m. radial distance from the remote.

Mr. Nayak said that it was developed six months ago and it was demonstrated for the first time at the maidan. The copter had a video camera. Its real time recording in air could be viewed on the lap top at the ground. He said he had developed a mini copter weighing 3.5 k.g. and flown it in the maidan.

The venue had shaded “shamianas” installed around the periphery of the maidan for seating people.

After the flag-hoisting ceremony, the sports activities took place, starting with the “Independence Day Trophy” cricket match between Dakshina Kannada Working Journalists' Association and DC XI. Jayaram Bhat, MD and CEO, Karnataka Bank, and J.S. Shenoy, Deputy General Manager, Syndicate Bank, batted in the match.

Parking was not available for a long distance around the Nehru Maidan. “No Parking” signs were ignored and vehicles were parked as far away as the gates of Corporation Bank in Pandeshwar.

At the side of the maidan facing the RTO road, vendors of paper fans did brisk business, especially luring the children. In the cricket match, two “gombe” characters were among the fielders. They took breaks from the fielding to shake hands with children.

The cricket match was won by Police XI which put up 38 for 6 in the limited overs match. DC XI could score 20 for 5. The journalists team lost in the semifinal round to Police XI.

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