President Ram Nath Kovind, in his address to the nation on the eve of the 74th Independence Day, hailed the country's courage in the face of a global pandemic and expressed his gratitude to the healthcare workers and the government for their efforts to tackle the coronavirus, which has upended lives of people around the world.
Expressing gratitude towards the corona warriors, who have been at the forefront of fighting the battle, he said, "The nation is indebted to all the doctors, nurses and other health workers who have been front line warriors in this fight against the coronavirus," he said. "These are the ideal service-warriors of our nation. The appreciation of these corona warriors is less. All these warriors rise above the limits of their duty, save lives and ensure availability of essential services."
Kovind said festivities on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day will not take place as usual. "The reason for this is obvious. The whole world is grappling with a deadly virus that has caused massive damage to life and hindered all kinds of activities," he said.
Here are the top quotes from the president's speech:
- "On this occasion, we remember with gratitude the sacrifices of our freedom fighters. Due to their sacrifice, all of us are residents of a free country today," the president said beginning his address.
- "We are fortunate that Mahatma Gandhi was the guide of our freedom movement. The coordination between a saint and a politician reflected in his personality was possible only in the soil of India."
- "Festivities will not take place as usual. The reason for this is obvious. The whole world is grappling with a deadly virus that has caused massive damage to life and hindered all kinds of activities."
- "It is very reassuring that in order to meet this challenge, the central government took effective steps in time, making predictions were taken. On the strength of these extraordinary efforts, in our vast country with densely populated and diverse circumstances, this challenge is being faced. State governments acted according to local circumstances. The public gave full support.
- Talking about Cyclone 'Amphan', which hit West Bengal and Odisha earlier this year, he said, "The cyclone caused heavy losses, which further increased our challenges. During this disaster, the united efforts of disaster management teams, agencies of the Center and states and vigilant citizens helped to reduce the loss of life and property."
- The President also addressed the sufferings of the poor in the country and said, "The hardest hit of this epidemic has been on the poor and the daily livelihood earners. In this era of crisis, several public welfare measures have been taken to support them, along with virus prevention efforts."
- "The government has given livelihood to crores of people by launching the 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana', so as to reduce the pain of losing jobs, moving from one place to another and disrupting life due to the epidemic. Every month, around 80 crore people are being guaranteed ration through this campaign," he said.
- Speaking on the successful evacuation of several expatriates, the president said, "Committed to helping our people in trouble anywhere in the world, more than a million Indians have been brought back home by the government, under the 'Vande Bharat Mission'.
- Lauding the Indian Railways, he said, "The movement of goods and people has been made possible by Indian Railways by running train services in this challenging time."
- "On the strength of our belief in strength, we have extended a helping hand to other countries in the fight against Covid-19. At the request of other countries, by supplying medicines, we have once again proved that India stands with the world community in times of crisis."
- "The self-reliance of India means being capable of self, not separation or distance from the world. It also means that India will also be involved in the global market system and will retain its special identity."
- Speaking on the challenges faced at the border with China, Kovind said, "Protecting the borders, our brave soldiers laid down their lives. Those sons of Mother India, live for national pride and die for that. The entire nation pays tribute to the sacrifices of Galwan Valley. Every Indian has a feeling of gratitude towards his family members. Our soldier's valor has shown that although our faith is at peace, if anyone tries to create disturbance, he will be given a proper answer. We are proud of our armed forces, police and paramilitary forces, which guard the borders, and ensure our internal security."
- "The overwhelming support for the temporary membership of the United Nations Security Council in the recently concluded elections is evidence of widespread international goodwill towards India."
- "We all learned many important lessons in the year 2020. An invisible virus has broken the myth that nature is subject to humans. I believe that the opportunity to adopt a lifestyle based on harmony with nature, by holding the right path, still exists in front of humanity. Like climate change, this epidemic has also raised the consciousness that the destiny of every member of the world community is interlinked," he said.
- "My belief is that 'human-centered collaboration' is more important in the current context than 'meaning-centered inclusion'."
- "The 21st century should be remembered as the century when humanity made united efforts to protect Mother Earth, bypassing differences."
- "Public hospitals and laboratories have played a leading role in countering Covid-19. This service has made it possible for the poor to face this epidemic. Therefore, these public health facilities will have to be made more elaborate and strengthened."
- "The fourth lesson is related to science and technology. Science and technology from this global epidemic The need to develop technology rapidly has received more attention. Information and communication technologies have been adopted as effective means of governance, education, business, office work and social interaction during the process of lockdown and subsequent unlocking respectively."
- "I believe that the future of our country and youth is bright," the president concluded.