Devotees from all over the country began to arrive in Bhitshah Town to pay homage to the great poet and saint, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, on his 268th urs celebrations due to begin on Monday.
Temporary stalls selling handicrafts, dried fruit and ready-made garments are being set up at Bhit Shah. The shopkeepers in the markets too were seen putting on new coats of paint to their shops, restaurants and hotels as the people start filtering in.
According to the members of the organising committee, around 0.7 million people are expected to attend the three-day celebrations. The event will be inaugurated by Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro while the chief minister, Qaim Ali Shah, will be the chief guest at the concluding ceremony on Wednesday. The chief minister will also present the Latif Awards to people for recognition of their services in different fields.
An international literary conference, Malakhra (traditional wrestling) matches, cattle shows, traditional intellectual sittings and bonfires, cattle shows, an agro-industrial exhibition and musical concerts will be held from Monday to Wednesday.
Around 2,200 policemen will be deployed in Bhitshah. Six walk-through gates will also be set up, four of them at the mausoleum and one each at the Bhitshah Auditorium and Bhitshah Excellence Centre. Twelve closed-circuits cameras and metal detectors will also be installed.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2012.
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