On a day when celebrations are merely restricted to exaggerated display of patriotism in flag hoisting ceremonies, a few citizens have taken an initiative to go beyond the symbolic.

Ninety-three-year-old freedom fighter S.R Ramaiah, who was admitted to St. Martha Hospital, was going to spend Independence Day only in the company of nurses. However, non-government organisation Indian Disabled League (IDL) foundation, along with visually-challenged students, J.B. Park walkers and Sangam association organised a felicitation in the hospital on Monday in appreciation of the freedom fighter.

“He does not have many people to provide him support,” said P.K. Paul, founder and executive trustee of IDL Foundation. “The government and political leaders have forgotten him,” he said.

Mr. Ramaiah, dressed in a Mysore peta (turban) and felicitated with a trophy bearing the image of the Father of the Nation, was overwhelmed by the gesture, saying that to spend the day with visually-disabled students was one of the best ways to spend Independence Day.

In the spirit of Independence Day, the non-governmental organisation also distributed sweets to the patients of the hospital.

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