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Here are the new initiatives for Republic Day this year

States and Union Territories (UT) have been advised they invite participation from one or more other states for their own Republic Day parade to “enhance mutual understanding and bonding”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: January 18, 2022 5:07:23 pm
Rehearsals are underway for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

This year’s Republic Day will see a number of new initiatives on the occasion of the 75th year of India’s Independence. These include, among others, celebrating Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary, democratising who is invited to the At Home functions by the governors and NCC cadets visiting families of soldiers who laid their lives for the country.

Beginning this year, the celebrations for the Republic Day will commence on January 23, marking Bose’s 125th birth anniversary this year. There will be a special programme on that evening during which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will honour the winners of the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Apda Prabandhan Puruskar, which was instituted in 2018, for contribution to the fields of disaster risk management.

States and Union Territories (UT) have been advised they invite participation from one or more other states for their own Republic Day parade to “enhance mutual understanding and bonding”. The Governors and Lieutenant Governors have been asked that for their At Home functions, apart from the usual protocol based invitees, they invite a more diverse set probably achievers in different fields; those who made exemplary contributions to society, including during the time of Covid, eco-warriors, sanitation workers, next of kin of soldiers, Olympic participants and, exceptional educators, frontline health workers, children bravery awardees, women sarpanches, etc.

In another initiative, as the Prime Minister lays wreath at the National War Memorial in the morning on January 26, cadets from the National Cadet Corps will visit and provide a “plaque of gratitude” to the next of kin of around 5000 soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice for the nation, and have their names mentioned on the National War Memorial. Till Independence Day, families of all 26,466 names mentioned in the memorial will be visited.

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Under a Kala Kunch, ten scrolls, each 75 meter wide and 15 feet high have been prepared in Bhubaneshwar and Chandigarh, showcasing stories of unsung heroes of the freedom movement through the country’s rich traditional art forms. These will be displayed along the Rajpath during the parade. Over 500 artists prepared these scrolls.

Also in a first, the dancers who will perform the cultural programmes in the parade have been selected through a nation-wide competition, which began at the district level with over 3800 participants, from which the final 480 dancers were selected to perform under the Vande Bharatam competition organised by the ministries of defence and culture.

Similarly, the Defence Ministry along with the Ministry of Education organised a Veer Gatha competition in which over eight lakh students participated across all states and UTs with stories of gallantry winners through essays, poems, drawings and multimedia presentations. The 25 final winners will be felicitated.

The Beating the Retreat ceremony on January 29 will also have a few new elements. There will be a projection mapping show to commemorate 75 years of independence around 3 to 4 minutes long, showcased on the walls of North and South blocks before the end of the ceremony.

Also, there will be a drone show organised by Botlab Dynamics, a start-up supported by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi in which around 1000 drones will participate.

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