President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the nation on the eve of 74th Independence Day. During his address, the President thanked the doctors, nurses and other health workers who have been at the frontline in the fight against coronavirus.
"Any amount of appreciation of these Corona-warriors will fall short. All these warriors rose above the limits of their duty, saved lives and ensured availability of essential services," said President Kovind.
Here are the highlights of President Ram Nath Kovind's address:
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.
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.
This year, the Independence Day 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 preempted the situation and took effective steps on time.
The nation is indebted to all the doctors, nurses and other health workers who have been frontline warriors in this fight against the coronavirus.
Any amount of appreciation of these Corona-warriors will fall short. All these warriors rose above the limits of their duty, saved lives and ensured availability of essential services
During this time, Cyclone 'Amphan' hit West Bengal and Odisha causing heavy losses and further increasing 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 poor and the daily livelihood earners have been the hardest hit by this pandemic. 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 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana', so that the pain of losing jobs, moving from one place to another and dislocating life due to the epidemic can be reduced.
Our government, which is committed to helping our people in trouble anywhere in the world, has brought back more than a million Indians, under the 'Vande Bharat Mission'.
The movement of goods and people was made possible by Indian Railways that ran train services in this challenging time.
We have extended a helping hand to other countries in the fight against Covid-19. At the request of other countries, we have supplied medicines and have once again proved that India stands with the world community in times of crisis.
India being Atmanirbhar means being self-reliant, 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.
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 are proud of our armed forces, police and paramilitary forces, who guard the borders, and ensure our internal security.
Today, when the biggest challenge faced by the world community is the need to unite and fight, then our neighbour dared to carry out his expansionist activities cleverly.
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 Galvan Valley. Every Indian has a feeling of gratitude towards his family members.
I believe that in the fight against COVID-19, it is necessary to focus on protecting both life and livelihood.
We have seen the current crisis as an opportunity to revive the economy by bringing about appropriate reforms in the interest of everyone, especially farmers and small entrepreneurs.
Historical reforms have been made in the agricultural sector. Farmers can get their maximum price by selling their produce, anywhere in the country without any hindrance. The 'Essential Commodities Act' has been amended to free farmers from regulatory restrictions. This will help in increasing the income of farmers.
We all learned many important lessons in the year 2020. An invisible virus has broken the myth that nature is a 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 pandemic has also raised the consciousness that the destiny of every member of the world community is interlinked. My belief is that 'human-centered collaboration' is more important in the current context.
The 21st century should be remembered as the century when humanity made united efforts to protect Mother Earth, bypassing differences.
Coronavirus doesn't follow the divisions created by human society. This reinforces the belief that we need to rise above all prejudices and limitations generated by humans.
Public hospitals and laboratories have played a leading role in countering Covid-19. Therefore, these public health facilities will have to be made more elaborate and strengthened.
The fourth lesson is related to science and technology. 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.
Only ten days back, the construction of the Ram temple has started at the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya and Indians are proud.
The whole world is appreciating the understanding and patience that you have showed in the face of this pandemic. I believe and I hope that all of you will remain vigilant and responsible.
The entire nation pays tribute to the sacrifices of Galvan Valley.
We have a lot to offer to the world community, especially in the field of intellectual, spiritual and world-peace. I pray for the whole world's well-being.
Wishing you all the best health and a beautiful future and congratulating you on the 74th Independence Day.