Covid crisis has shown that Indians are connected as one family, says president in R-Day eve address
The coronavirus pandemic is still widespread but this “time of crisis” has shown that Indians are connected as one family, President Ram Nath Kovind said in his address to the country on Tuesday, on the eve of Republic Day.
“The time of social distancing has brought us close to each other,” Kovind said. “We have realised how much we depend on each other.”
The president pointed out that doctors and other medical workers have worked long hours to attend to Covid-19 patients, while many others kept in country moving by managing supply chains. He said that policy makers and administrators made interventions that brought the economy to move start.
“Small and medium enterprises have played an important role in providing employment to people and imparting impetus to the economy,” he said. “Our innovative young entrepreneurs have set new benchmarks of success by making effective use of the start-up eco-system.”
Kovind also advised citizens to remain alert and not let their guard down against the coronavirus disease.
“Wearing mask and maintaining social distancing have been essential parts of Covid appropriate behaviour,” he said. “In the fight against the Covid-19 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.”
The president also praised the soldiers and security personnel, saying that they carry on the “legacy of national pride” even when faced with extreme weather conditions.
“It is thanks to the constant vigil of the armed forces securing our borders and the police personnel maintaining internal security within the country that their fellow citizens enjoy peaceful life,” he said.
He expressed his grief about the death of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and other soldiers who died in a helicopter accident last month. “The entire country was deeply saddened by the tragic loss,” he said.
Talking about the Constitution, the president said that the guiding principles in the Preamble – democracy, justice, liberty, equality and fraternity – form the bedrock on which the country stands.
Kovind said that these values have been given importance in the Constitution in the form of Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties of the citizens. He said that following one’s Fundamental Duties created the space for citizens to enjoy their Fundamental Rights.
“By fulfilling the fundamental duty of rendering national service when called upon to do so, crores of our people have transformed the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the Covid-19 vaccination drive into mass movements,” he said. “A great deal of credit for the success of such campaigns goes to our dutiful citizens.”
The president also told citizens to remember the freedom fighters who exhorted citizens to fight for the country’s Independence.
“Our freedom struggle was an inspiring chapter in our splendid saga,” he said. “In this seventy-fifth year of Independence, let us re-discover the values that animated our glorious national movement.”
Kovind said that by the time India had gained Independence, the colonial rulers had left the country poor but India has since then made great progress. He said that new opportunities await the next generation and the youth have taken advantage of these chances to set a new benchmark of success.
“I am sure that with this energy, confidence and entrepreneurship, our country will continue to march ahead on the path of progress and will definitely secure its rightful place, befitting its potential, in the global community,” he added.