Updated: January 25, 2021 10:30:30 pm
Greeting the nation on the eve of India’s 72nd Republic Day, President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday gave assurance that the government is devoted to farmers’ welfare, saying “every Indian is grateful to them for ensuring food security in our vast country.”
“Every Indian salutes our farmers, who have made our vast and populous country self-reliant in food-grains and dairy products. Despite adversities of nature, numerous other challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, our farmers sustained the agricultural production,” he said in his address and sought to allay their fears over the three contentious farm laws. “A grateful nation is fully committed to the welfare of our farmers,” he said.
President Kovind also asserted that the country’s Armed Forces are “adequately mobilised” in a “well-coordinated” move to thwart any attempt to undermine national security, and recalled how its valiant soldiers foiled the “expansionist” plans by China in Ladakh last year. Kovind’s remarks come following the 9th round of Corps Commander Level Meeting between India and China on January 24.
Paying tributes to the 20 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives at Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh last June during clashes with the Chinese troops, the President said the past year “was a time of adversity, and it came from many fronts.”
“We faced an expansionist move on our borders, but our valiant soldiers foiled it. To achieve this objective, 20 of them had to lay down their lives.” Kovind said the nation shall remain grateful to those brave soldiers.
The President said that like hardworking farmers ensure food security for the country, the brave soldiers of the Armed Forces ensure security of our national boundaries amid the severest conditions. “From the freezing cold at Siachen and Galwan valley in Ladakh with temperatures as low as minus 50 to 60 degree Celsius to the scorching heat in Jaisalmer with temperatures as high as 50 degree Celsius on land, in the skies and at the vast coastal areas — our warriors are vigilant every moment. Every citizen feels proud about the bravery, patriotism and the spirit of sacrifice among our soldiers,” he said.
On the country’s efforts to fight COVID-19, Kovind said that scientists, along with doctors, administrators and people from other walks of life, have made major contributions in containing the virus and keeping the fatality rate lower in our country, compared with that in developed countries.
Kovind added India is rightfully being called the “pharmacy of the world” as it has not only rolled out vaccination for the domestic population but is also supplying it to several other countries.
He also urged people to utilise the “lifeline” provided by the COVID-19 vaccine and get inoculated as per guidelines. “Your health opens the way for your advancement.”
“From space to the farms, from educational institutions to hospitals, the community of scientists has enriched our life and work. Our scientists have been working day and night for decoding the Coronavirus and they have succeeded in developing the vaccine in record time. With this accomplishment, our scientists have added a glorious chapter of contribution to the well-being of humanity,” Kovind said in his address.
Indians have been like a close-knit family, making exemplary sacrifices to protect each other in the face of the common enemy of coronavirus, he said. “I am thinking here of doctors, nurses, paramedics, healthcare administrators and sanitation workers who put their own lives at risk to care for Covid-19 patients. Some of them even lost their lives. Along with them, about 1.5 lakh people became victims of this pandemic. I convey my condolences to the bereaved families,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)
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