“A grateful nation is fully committed to the welfare of our farmers” – President Ram Nath Kovind
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, in his address to the nation on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day today, paid rich tributes to the farmers and said a “grateful nation is fully committed to the welfare of our farmers”.
“Every Indian salutes our farmers, who have made our vast and populous country self-reliant in food-grains and dairy products,” the President said and added that despite adversities of nature, numerous other challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers sustained the agricultural production.
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In his address, Kovind along with the farmers, also recounted the contribution of soldiers to national security. He said: “Just as our hardworking farmers ensure food security for the country, the brave soldiers of the armed forces ensure security of our national boundaries amid severest conditions. From the freezing cold at Siachen and Galwan valley in Ladakh with temperatures as low as minus 50 to 60 degree Celsius to the scorching heat in Jaisalmer with temperatures as high as 50 degree Celsius – on land, in the skies and at the vast coastal areas – our warriors are vigilant every moment. Every citizen feels proud about the bravery, patriotism and the spirit of sacrifice among our soldiers.”
He said the 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.” He said that though India reiterates its commitment to peace, the country’s defence forces – Army, Air Force and Navy – were adequately mobilised in a well-coordinated move to thwart any attempt to undermine its security. “Our national interest will be protected at all costs. We have also ensured a widespread understanding in the international community of India’s firm and principled stand,” he said.
Lauding the role of scientists for their contribution to protection against disease and disasters and to different areas of development, Kovind said the scientists had strengthened the national endeavours. “From space to the farms, from educational institutions to hospitals, the community of scientists has enriched our life and work. Our scientists have been working day and night for decoding the Coronavirus and they have succeeded in developing the vaccine in record time. With this accomplishment, our scientists have added a glorious chapter of contribution to the well-being of humanity,” he said. He highlighted the major contribution of the scientists, along with doctors, administrators and people from other walks of life, in containing the virus and keeping the fatality rate lower in our country, compared to that in developed countries.
“Thus, all our farmers, soldiers and scientists deserve special appreciation and a grateful nation greets them on this auspicious occasion of the Republic Day,” he said.
The President touched upon various issues including the successful conduct of the Bihar elections, devoted a substantial part of his speech to the COVID-19 pandemic and said, last year, as humanity almost came to a halt in the face of a calamity of gigantic proportions, he often found himself reflecting on the central message of the Constitution. “Our effective response to the pandemic would not have been possible without our Constitutional value of ‘Fraternity’. Indians have been like a close-knit family, making exemplary sacrifices to protect each other in the face of the common enemy of Coronavirus. I am thinking here of doctors, nurses, paramedics, healthcare administrators and sanitation workers who put their own lives at risk to care for Covid-19 patients. Some of them even lost their lives. Along with them, about 1.5 lakh people became victims of this pandemic.”
While conveying his condolences to the bereaved families, he said, “Our frontline Corona-warriors were ordinary citizens who turned out to be extraordinary. When the history of this tragic chapter, which is not yet over, is written, I am confident that the future generations will behold you all for the heroic response to the crisis for which no one could have truly prepared.
– global bihari bureau