This Independence Day, while celebrations are likely to be muted, states have been advised by the Centre to invite those people who have recovered from Covid-19 as their guests, along with health and sanitation workers, even as local authorities have been asked to have “Atmanirbhar Bharat” as the theme in their functions.
The government has also advised against large gatherings, and has asked states and local bodies to use technology to reach out to people. As reported by The Indian Express on Friday, not more than 250 people are expected to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the Red Fort.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in its advisory sent to all states, said, “Every year, Independence Day is celebrated with grandeur, gaiety, fervour and enthusiasm. This year also, Independence Day will be celebrated in a manner befitting the occasion. However, in view of spread of Covid-19 pandemic, while organising various programmes or activities for Independence Day celebrations, it is imperative to follow certain preventive measures such as maintaining social distancing, wearing of masks, proper sanitisation, avoiding large congregations, protecting vulnerable persons, etc.; and follow all guidelines related to Covid-19 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.”
The advisory added that “all programmes should be organised in a way that large congregation of people is avoided and technology is used in a best possible manner for celebration befitting the occasion. The events organised could be web-cast in order to reach out to people at large, who are not able to participate.”
The MHA said that the function at Red Fort and the ‘At Home’ function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan would take place with the necessary guard of honour. The ‘At Home’ function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan is also likely to have health workers, medical professionals and other “Corona warriors” among the invitees.
“At Home of Governors and Lieutenant Governors have been left at their discretion…” it said, suggesting that “Corona warriors” be invited by the Raj Bhavans in recognition of their efforts.
The advisory said that for states, “it would also be appropriate that Covid-19 warriors like doctors, health workers, sanitation workers, etc., are invited in the ceremony as a recognition of their noble service in fight against Covid-19 Pandemic. Some persons cured from Covid-19 infection may also be invited.”
The Centre said it would be appropriate for functions at the state and local level to have Atmanirbhar Bharat as the theme.
Among other activities suggested are planting of trees; inter school/inter-college debates on digital platforms; online quiz contests/patriotic essay writing and poetry competitions; launching of any important scheme, singing patriotic songs/delivering patriotic talks by selected boys/girls on social media; illumination of Government Buildings/State Bhawans, etc; thematic webinars; online campaign by N55 and NYKS centred around patriotic themes; or any other activity that states deem fit for the occasion.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines