2,125 schoolchildren put up performances for an hour

Cultural pageantry by schoolchildren, a stunning display of daredevilry by a team of the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre (MLIRC), Belgaum, and a paramotor glider display by the Parachute Regiment Training Centre, Bangalore, were among the highlights at the 63rd Republic Day celebrations at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground here on Thursday.

Rose petals were showered from a helicopter when Governor H.R. Bhardwaj unfurled the national flag.

This was followed by the playing of the national anthem and other patriotic songs.

As many as 2,125 schoolchildren put up performances for nearly an hour to the tunes of patriotic songs on the occasion.

Mr. Bhardwaj released balloons in the air as part of creating awareness among the youth about the right to vote. (National Voters' Day was observed on January 25.) Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda accompanied him. Contingents of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Karnataka State Reserve Police, Rapid Action Force, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, City Armed Reserve and Home Guards participated in the march past. Cadets of the National Cadet Corps, Scouts, Guides and volunteers of the Bharat Seva Dal also participated in the ceremonial parade. The marching contingents accompanied by their bands put up a show of discipline and authority.