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'Aatma Nirbhar' Bharat, Social Distancing to be Theme of I-Day; Reliance on Tech as Covid-19 Curbs Festivity

School children who gather in saffron, white and green will be missing this year and number of diplomats, ministers and dignitaries could also be kept to a minimum.  (Reuters File)

School children who gather in saffron, white and green will be missing this year and number of diplomats, ministers and dignitaries could also be kept to a minimum. (Reuters File)

The MHA has said the ceremony at Red Fort this year will consist of the guard of honour by armed forces and Delhi Police, unfurling of the flag, playing of national anthem and speech by the prime minister.

‘Atmanirbharta’ and social distancing will be the theme of Independence Day celebrations this year, with the Ministry of Home Affairs detailing in an advisory to states how celebrations can be held at state capital, district headquarters, sub-divisions and panchayat-levels.

"It would be appropriate that the theme of “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat" is suitably spread and publicised amongst the masses through various activities/messages in the functions and in social media during independence day celebrations,” the four-page advisory says.

The advisory underlines the need to rely on technology. "All programmes should be organised in a way that large congregation of people is avoided and technology is used in best possible manner for celebration befitting the occasion," it says.

This year’s Independence Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort will be a curtailed affair. School children who gather in saffron, white and green will be missing and number of diplomats, ministers and dignitaries could also be kept to a minimum. Policemen on duty will be given PPE kits and sanitisation points will be set up. NCC cadets will be present at Red Fort.

The MHA has said the ceremony at Red Fort will consist of the guard of honour by armed forces and Delhi Police, unfurling of the flag, playing of national anthem and speech by the prime minister. At Home by President of India will be held but number of people present will be curtailed. All ceremonies will be telecast and available on web cast.

Covid-19 warriors like doctors, health and sanitation workers will be celebrated at the functions this year.

All chief ministers have been advised to follow the same pattern while unfurling the flag at around 9am on August 15. Raj Bhawans have been given the discretion to decide on At Homes. In case they are organised in states, social distancing, masks, sanitisation should be mandatory. MHA has also advised that people cured of coronavirus can be invited to defeat the stigma against the disease.

Military bands will perform on the occasion and the performance will be telecast as well as broadcast on web.