Leaders participating in the third State-level Vishwakarma Jayanthothsava here on Saturday urged community members to enhance their skills by embracing modern education.

The jayanthothsava, held on the Maharaja's College Ground, was inaugurated by Oscar Fernandes, AICC general secretary and MP, who mooted the idea of establishing a university or a Vishwakarma Academy for the community members.

Mr. Fernandes noted the community members were proficient in many skills, which came to them naturally. But this had to be reinforced with modern education, so they could compete in the contemporary world. He appealed to the community leaders to conceive plans to establish academies and promised financial assistance through the MP funds.

Madhusudhan Mistry, Congress MP from Gujarat and also an AICC general secretary, urged the community members to fight for their rights and galvanise themselves into a solid political force. The community had a long history and tradition associated with skills and their contribution to the country in various fields was noteworthy, he added.

KPCC president G. Parameshwara mooted the idea of establishing an engineering college for members of the Vishwakarma community to promote modern technology. He said the community should not be deprived of modern and technical education.

The former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, expressed solidarity with the community members and said he supported their demands for securing government benefits. Akhila Bharata Vishwakarma Mahasabha president K.P. Nanjundi criticised Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda for not attending the programme though he had promised to do so.

A.H. Vishwanath, Mysore MP; V. Srinivas Prasad, MLA; D.K. Shivakumar, MLA; R. Dhruvanarayan, Chamarajanagar MP, and other political leaders were present.

Earlier, a colourful procession with nearly 30 tableaus was taken out through the main streets of the city. Flower petals were showered from a helicopter on an idol of Vishwakarma. Performances by folk troupes added colour to the event.

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