Ministers reiterate the need to protect sovereignty and integrity of the country on Republic Day

Minister for Forests K.B. Ganesh Kumar has said that while many countries faced uncertainty on the economic front, India could maintain economic progress.

He was delivering the Republic Day address after unfurling the national flag and taking the salute at the Republic Day parade held at the Asramam Maidan on Saturday morning.

The Minister said that while India made economic progress one should give much thought to how the social traditions were to be preserved. He said the people at large should be prepared to ensure security to women and children. The people should always remember the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters. The citizens had the duty to preserve the independence and unity of the nation, he said.

The Minister, who was given a formal welcome at the venue, inspected the guard of honour after hoisting the national flag. Platoons from the police, the Excise, Forest, National Cadet Corps, Student Police and Scouts and Guides took part in the parade.

Mayor Prasanna Earnest honoured the freedom fighters. District Collector P.G. Thomas, City Police Commissioner Debesh Kumar Behera, District Superintendent of Police (Kollam Rural) V.C. Mohanan, Additional District Magistrate O. Raju, Deputy Mayor G. Lalu, Tahasildar J. Girija, and former Minister C.V. Padmarajan were present.

Land for the landless

Staff Reporter in Pathanamthitta writes: The government is committed to providing three cents of land each to one lakh landless people well before the next Independence Day, Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash has said.

Addressing a gathering on the 64{+t}{+h}Republic Day at District Stadium here on Saturday, he said the United Democratic Front (UDF) government’s plan was to make the State a place sans landless people.

The government had embarked on a development mission. Various welfare schemes had been implemented with foresight and in an objective manner. No sane elements would create obstacles for the government, he added. Recalling the words of Dr. Rajendraprasad, the first President of independent India, the Minister said all citizens should dedicate themselves to making India a land where all people lived in harmony and enjoyed their freedom.

The Stat and the hill district of Pathanamthitta could be proud of making leaps in many walks of life. Sabarimala development had become a reality and the district’s development potential was immense, he said.

A model

The State was fast becoming a model to various other States in the fields of science and technology, education, healthcare, and labour, Mr. Prakash said.

Schemes should be chalked out to conserve the Pampa, Achenkovil, and Manimala. The government medical college coming up at Konni would also be of great help to the people of the district, Mr. Prakash said.

The nation should strive to uproot religious fundamentalism and terrorism that destroyed the unity and integrity of the country. Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of Gramaswaraj should be materialised through decentralisation and Jawaharlal Nehru’s concept of socialism through effective implementation of various poverty-eradication and welfare schemes, Mr. Prakash said.

K. Sivadasan Nair, MLA; Babu George, district panchayat president; V.N. Jithendran, District Collector; Putta Vimaladitya, District police Chief; H. Salimraj, Additional District Magistrate; and A. Sureshkumar, municipal Chairman; were among those present.

The Minister also hoisted the national flag and took salute at the Republic Day parade.