President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday asserted that the bravery of soldiers has demonstrated that India is also capable of giving a befitting response to any attempt of aggression, though India believes in peace. Addressing the nation on the eve of 74th Independence Day, President Kovind took a jibe at China saying that “some in our neighbourhood tried to carry out their misadventure of expansion” at a time when “world community needs to fight together against the greatest challenge before humanity”.
He said, “Even while the world community needs to fight together against the greatest challenge before humanity, some in our neighbourhood tried to carry out their misadventure of expansion. Our brave soldiers laid down their lives defending our borders. Those worthy sons of Bharat Mata lived and died for national pride.”
He added, “The entire nation salutes the martyrs of Galwan Valley. Every Indian feels grateful to their family members. Their bravery in combat has demonstrated that while we believe in peace, we are also capable of giving a befitting response to any attempt of aggression. We are proud of the members of our Armed Forces, paramilitary forces and police personnel who protect the borders, and ensure our internal security.”
Praising the medical fraternity, the President said that all Corona Warriors deserve high praise as they went much beyond their call of duty to save lives and ensure essential services.
“The nation is indebted to doctors, nurses and other health workers who have been continuously on the forefront of our fight against this virus. Unfortunately, many of them have lost their lives battling the pandemic. They are our national heroes. All Corona Warriors deserve high praise. They go much beyond their call of duty to save lives and ensure essential services,” he said.
“These doctors, health workers, members of Disaster Management Teams, police personnel, sanitation workers, delivery staff, transportation, railway and aviation personnel, providers of various services, government employees, social service organisations and generous citizens have been scripting inspiring stories of courage and selfless service. When cities and towns go quiet and roads are deserted, they work tirelessly to ensure that people are not deprived of health care and relief, water and electricity, transport and communication facilities, milk and vegetables, food and groceries, medicine and other essentials. They risk their own lives to save our life and livelihood,” he added.
The celebrations of Independence Day this year will be rather restrained asserted President Kovind. “The reason is obvious. The whole world confronts a deadly virus which has disrupted all activities and taken a huge toll. It has altered the world we lived in before the pandemic,” he stated.
He said that it is very reassuring to note that, the central government, while anticipating the tremendous challenge, responded effectively and well in time. “All state governments took measures in accordance with local circumstances. People also supported wholeheartedly. With our committed efforts, we have succeeded in containing the magnitude of the pandemic and saving a large number of lives. This is worth emulating by the wider world,” he added.
The President said, “I believe that in the fight against COVID-19, life and livelihood, both are essential. We have looked at the current crisis as an opportunity to initiate reforms to revitalise the economy for the benefit of all, especially farmers and small entrepreneurs. Landmark reforms have been introduced in the agriculture sector. Now, farmers can have barrier-free trade and get the best price for their produce anywhere in the country. The Essential Commodities Act has been amended to remove certain regulatory restrictions on farmers. This will help raise farmers’ income.”
The President stated, “We have learnt some tough lessons in the year 2020. The invisible virus has demolished the illusion that the human being is the master of nature. I believe, it is still not too late for humanity to correct its course and live in harmony with nature. The pandemic, like climate change, has awakened the global community to our shared destiny. In my view, ‘human-centric collaboration’ is more important than ‘economy-centric inclusion’, in the present context. The greater this change, the better it will be for humanity. The twenty-first century should be remembered as the century when humanity put aside differences and collaborated to save the planet.”
“The second lesson is that we are all equal before Mother Nature and we primarily depend on our fellow residents for survival and growth. Coronavirus does not recognize any artificial divisions created by human society. This reinforces the belief that we need to rise above all man-made differences, prejudices, and barriers. Compassion and mutual help have been adopted as basic values by the people in India. We need to further strengthen this virtue in our conduct. Only then can we create a better future for all of us,” he added.
He stated, “The third lesson is about augmenting health infrastructure. Public hospitals and laboratories have been leading the fight against COVID-19. Public health services have helped the poor cope with the pandemic. In view of this, public health infrastructure needs to be expanded and strengthened.”
“The fourth lesson relates to science and technology. The pandemic has highlighted the need to accelerate developments in science and technology. During the lockdown and subsequent unlocking, information and communication technology has emerged as an effective tool for governance, education, business, office work and social connect. It has helped meet the twin objectives of saving lives and resumption of activities,” he added.