Updated: January 25, 2022 7:49:16 pm
Addressing the nation on the eve of 73rd Republic Day, President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday urged them to follow the precautions, as suggested by scientists and experts, in the fight against the Covid spread. Lauding doctors and healthcare workers, he said the country has shown an unmatched resolve in its fight against Covid-19 and it is only in such difficult times that the resilience of a nation shines forth.
“In the fight against the Covid pandemic, it has now become a sacred national duty of every citizen to follow the precautions suggested by our scientists and experts. We have to discharge this duty till the crisis is behind us,” he said.
President Kovind asserted that the country could build adequate infrastructure and become self-reliant in the vaccination programme, despite being a developing economy with inadequate resources and a high population density. “But it is only in such difficult times that the resilience of a nation shines forth. I am proud to say that we have shown an unmatched resolve against the coronavirus. In the first year itself, we raised the healthcare infrastructure and also reached out to help others. By the second year, we had developed indigenous vaccines and launched the world’s biggest vaccination drive in history,” he said.
He added, “As the pandemic is still widespread, we must remain alert and not let our guard down. The precautions we have taken till now have to be continued. Wearing mask and maintaining social distancing have been essential parts of Covid-appropriate behaviour,” he added.
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Kovind also called on citizens to observe their fundamental duties as mentioned in the Constitution to create an environment where fundamental rights can also be enjoyed. The President reminded the people that doing one’s duty is the foremost contribution a citizen can make to the nation.
Maintaining that patriotism strengthens the sense of duty among citizens, President Kovind said: “Whether you are a doctor or a lawyer, a shopkeeper or office-worker, a sanitation employee or a labourer, doing one’s duty well and efficiently is the first and foremost contribution you make to the nation.”
Kovind recalled that crores of citizens have fulfilled their fundamental duty of rendering service to the nation by taking part in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the Covid vaccination drive. “A great deal of credit for the success of such campaigns goes to our dutiful citizens. I am sure that our people will continue to strengthen the campaigns of national interest with their active participation and will demonstrate the same dedication,” he said.
Lauding doctors, nurses and paramedics for rising to the challenges during the pandemic and others for keeping the nation moving managing supply chains and utilities, he said, “The leadership, policy-makers, administrators and others at the central and state levels have made timely interventions. Due to such interventions the economy is on the move again. It is a testimony to India’s spirit in the face of adversity that the economy is projected to grow at an impressive rate in this fiscal, after going through contraction last year.”
He added that the government has “shown relentless focus on reforming every economic sector and providing a helping hand wherever necessary.” According to him, “the impressive economic performance is made possible due to improvement in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. I am happy to note that our farmers, especially young farmers with small holdings, are enthusiastically adopting natural farming.”
He had special praise for small and medium enterprises which, he said, have played an important role in providing employment to people and imparting impetus to the economy. “Our innovative young entrepreneurs have set new benchmarks of success by making effective use of the start-up eco-system. It is a testimony to the success of our country massive and robust digital payment platform that millions of digital transactions are being done every month.”
In his address, the President exhorted people to go back to their roots. Stating how in the Sui village in Bhiwani district of Haryana people had transformed the area under the Swa-Prerit Adarsh Gram Yojana, he said it was an expression of “affection and gratitude for one’s village or native land” which is “worth emulating”. “There remains life-long love and reverence for their native land in the hearts of grateful people. This example strengthens my belief that a new India is emerging – a Strong India and a Sensitive India” he added.
He also narrated his own experience of going back to his birthplace—Paraunkh at Kanpur Dehat district- which he visited last June. “On reaching there, I naturally felt the urge to express respect for the sacred soil of my village and applied it on my forehead because I believe that I have been able to reach Rashtrapati Bhavan only due to the blessings of my village. Wherever in the world I may be, my village and my country remain in my heart,” he said.
He called on people who are successful in life due to their hard work and talent, to always remember their roots and their native village, town or city. “Also, all of you must serve your place of birth and your country in whatever way you can. If all the successful people of India work sincerely for the development of their birth-places, then the whole country will benefit from the outcome of such local development,” he said.
The President also talked about the empowerment of women in the Armed Forces. “Our daughters have broken a glass ceiling, and permanent commission has now been allowed for women officers in new areas. Also, the talent pipeline for the forces will be strengthened with women coming through Sainik Schools and the prestigious National Defence Academy. Consequently, our Armed Forces will benefit from better gender balance” he said.
Remembering General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other soldiers who had lost their lives in a chopper accident last month, he said, “The entire country was deeply saddened by the tragic loss,” he said.
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