Monday, September 20, 2021

In 75 years, we have travelled considerable distance: President Ram Nath Kovind

In his address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day, the President said that the world looks up to the miracle of India.

New Delhi: The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, today addressed the nation on the eve of 75th Independence Day. He spoke on various issues including women’s performance in the recently held Olympics, impact of covid-19 pandemic and the economy of India.

The President said: “Independence Day is a festival of freedom for us. This was made possible by generations of freedom fighters; some known, many unknown. They made great sacrifices. Today, you and I breathe under free skies thanks to their heroic deeds. I bow in respect to the pious memory of those brave martyrs.”

He said: “Our nation, like many others, suffered great injustices and tyranny under foreign rule. What distinguishes India, however, is that the character of our nationalist movement, led by Mahatma Gandhi, was based on the principles of truth and non-violence. He and all other national heroes provided us with an invaluable blueprint to not only liberate the nation from colonial rule, but also to rebuild it. Gandhiji’s struggle was for a return to Indian ethos and for human dignity.”

The President added: “Now as we look back to the seventy five year journey of our republic, we have reasons to be proud of the considerable distance we have travelled. Gandhiji taught us that slow and steady steps in the right direction are preferable to rapid strides in the wrong direction. The world looks up at the miracle of India, home to the plurality of traditions and yet the biggest and most vibrant democracy.”

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He also mentioned Tokyo Olympics and said: ”Our sportspersons have brought laurels to the nation with their stellar performances. India has won the highest number of medals in the 121 years of its participation in the Olympics. Our daughters have achieved world class excellence in playgrounds overcoming many adversities. Along with sports, epoch-making changes are taking place in the participation and success of women in all walks of life. From higher educational institutions to armed forces, from laboratories to playgrounds, our daughters are making their mark. In this success of our daughters, I see a glimpse of a developed India of the future. I urge every parent to learn from the families of such promising daughters and provide opportunities to their daughters also to explore avenues of growth.”

About pandemic he said: “The second wave brought our public healthcare infrastructure under stress. The reality is that no infrastructure, even of advanced economies, could withstand a crisis of such enormous proportions. Efforts were made on war-footing to plug the gaps. The leadership rose to the challenge, and the government’s endeavours were supplemented by initiatives of the states, private sector healthcare facilities, the civil society and others. In this extraordinary mission, foreign nations shared the essentials generously, just as India had reached out to many nations with medicine, equipment and vaccines. I am grateful to the global fraternity that came forward with a helping hand.”

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He said: ”Due to these efforts, the nation breathes a sigh of relief with the return of a semblance of normalcy. If we have learned our lessons well, we know that this is the time of extra care and caution. We shall not let our guard down. Vaccines are the best possible protection science offers to us. Under the world’s biggest vaccination campaign going on in our country, more than 50 crore fellow citizens have been vaccinated so far. I urge all eligible citizens who are yet to get vaccinated to do so at the earliest and also inspire others.”

About economy he said: “The economic impact of the pandemic is as disastrous as its health impact. The government has been concerned about the lower middle classes and the poor, as well as about the small and medium industries. It has been sensitive to the needs of the labourers and of employers who have been facing hardships due to the lockdowns and movement restrictions. Sensitive to their needs, the government had taken a series of relief measures last year. This year also, the government had distributed food grains to about 80 crore people in May and June. This benefit has been extended till Diwali. Moreover, the government has announced a new stimulus package worth Rupees 6 lakh 28 thousand crore to boost the selected Covid-affected sectors. In particular, it is heartening to note that an amount of Rupees 23 thousand 220 crore is being spent over one year for expansion of medical facilities.”

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He also added: “A new dawn is rising in Jammu and Kashmir. The government has initiated the process of consultation with all stakeholders who have faith in democracy and the rule of law. I urge the people, especially the youth, of Jammu and Kashmir to utilise this opportunity and work on realising their aspirations through democratic institutions. With all-round progress, India’s stature is rising in the international arena, as it was reflected in our participation in several key multilateral forums as well as in consolidating bilateral relationships with several countries.”

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