President Ram Nath Kovind highlighted the challenges faced by the country in the year gone by, and hailed the steps taken by the government to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus crisis in his speech on the eve of 72nd Republic Day.
He said that India is enriched by diversity where many festivals are celebrated across the country.
“This is the day to also pause and ponder over the core values that Constitution propounds. These values – Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity – outlined in the Preamble of our Constitution are sacred to all of us,” said President Kovind.
He took the opportunity to “salute” the farmers of the country who have made India self-reliant in foodgrain and dairy products.
“Every Indian salutes our farmers, who have made our vast and populous country self-reliant in foodgrain and dairy products. Despite adversities of nature, numerous other challenges and Covid-19 pandemic, our farmers sustained agricultural production,” the President said in his annual address.
He said that the government and entire nation is fully committed to the welfare of our farmers.
He also made a special mention about the healthcare and frontline workers who took the coronavirus disease head on, and hailed the contribution made by the scientists of the country in developing a vaccine.
“Our scientists created history by decoding the coronavirus and developing a vaccine in such a short time,” said the President, adding, “Our scientists, along with doctors, administrators & people from other walks of life, have made major contribution in containing the virus and keeping the fatality rate lower in our country, compared to that in developed countries.”
He then talked about the standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between Indian nd Chinese soldiers in Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives. The skirmish on June 15 also causes casualties on the Chinese side.
“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. The nation shall remain grateful to those brave soldiers,” President Kovind said.
He then highlighted the steps taken by the central government to revive the economy battered by the pandemic.0