Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran has called for a second Green Revolution. He was addressing the 64th Independence Day celebrations at the Thekkinkad Maidan on Sunday.

“The country should understand its strengths and weaknesses. Agricultural production should be boosted to ensure food security. Society should give more importance to farming. People should renew their commitment to agriculture and labour. Rural development should be our major action programme,” he said.

He said that no one should join forces with extremist elements for temporary political gains. “Society should be vigilant against extremism and fundamentalism. Freedom should not be misused.”

He called for programmes to cut the rate of poverty. “About 20 per cent of India's population is undernourished. Children constitute about 45 per cent of the undernourished in the country. Adivasis and backward communities are yet to be completely brought to the mainstream.”

Earlier, he took the salute at a march-past. The parade featured platoons of the District Armed Reserve Police; Kerala Armed Police Battalion I; local police; women's constabulary; Forest and Excise divisions; 23, 24 and 7 National Cadet Corps divisions of the Sree Kerala Varma College, St. Thomas College, Elthuruthu St. Aloysius College, Puranattukara Sri Ramakrishna Vidya Mandiram, Chaldean Syrian Higher Secondary School and Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School; and Scouts and Guides.

A Kalaripayattu performance by a police team followed the march-past. Mayor R. Bindu, Rajaji Mathew Thomas, MLA, district panchayat president Ambady Venu, Collector A.T. James, Deputy Superintendent of Police M.P. Dinesh were among those present.

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