The key highlights of Sunday’s Independence Day celebrations will include the presence of the medal winners of Tokyo Olympics, a special block for coronavirus warriors, and Air Force helicopters showering flower petals “in Amrut formation”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will “lead the Nation in celebrating this historic 75th Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement. “He will hoist the National Flag and deliver the customary Address to the Nation.”
Thirty-two Olympic winners, including Subedar Neeraj Chopra, the country’s first ever gold medal in track and field events, have been invited to the ceremony. “Around 240 Olympians, support staff and (Sports Authority of India) and sports federation officials have also been invited to grace the Gyan Path in front of the Ramparts” the statement mentioned. “In Tokyo, India recorded its best-ever medal haul in the Olympics by bagging a total of seven medals — one gold, two silver and four bronze.”
The statement said that to “honour the Corona warriors who played a vital role in fighting the invisible enemy, Covid-19, a separate block on the south side of the Rampart has been created”.
As soon as the Tricolour is hoisted by Modi, the ministry stated, “flower petals will be showered at the venue by two Mi 17 1V helicopters of Indian Air Force in Amrut Formation,” which, it added, will be a first.
Modi will then address the nation, followed by NCC cadets singing the national anthem.
The statement mentioned that Modi had launched the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”’ from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad in March to celebrate 75 years of Independence, which will continue until August 15, 2023.
At the Red Fort, Modi will be received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.
“The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister will consist of one officer and 20 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. Indian Navy is the coordinating service this year,” the ministry stated. The Guard of Honour will be commanded by Commander Piyush Gaur, it added.
After inspecting the Guard of Honour, Modi will proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be greeted by Singh, Bhatt and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria.
“The National Flag Guard comprising five officers and 130 men from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police will present Rashtriya Salute at the time of hoisting of the National Flag by the Prime Minister.”