India has shown unmatched resolve in facing challenge of pandemic: President

“Democracy, justice, liberty, equality and fraternity form the bedrock of India,” the President says in his address.

Updated - January 26, 2022 07:19 am IST

Published - January 25, 2022 07:32 pm IST - New Delhi

President Ram Nath Kovind addresses the nation on the eve of the 73rd Republic Day, in New Delhi on January 25, 2022. Twitter/@rashtrapatibhvn

President Ram Nath Kovind addresses the nation on the eve of the 73rd Republic Day, in New Delhi on January 25, 2022. Twitter/@rashtrapatibhvn

President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said the country has shown unmatched resolve in the face of the extraordinary challenge posed to humankind by the coronavirus pandemic, and asserted that a strong and sensitive India is now emerging.

Addressing the nation on the eve of 73rd Republic Day, President Kovind noted that democracy, justice, liberty, equality and fraternity form the bedrock of India, and urged the people to celebrate “Indian-ness” this Republic Day.

He stressed that the observance of the Fundamental Duties mentioned in the Constitution creates the proper environment for the enjoyment of Fundamental Rights, and cited people’s participation in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and in COVID-19 vaccination as examples of citizens fulfilling their fundamental duties and rendering a national service.

As Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the President said that this year was a watershed year for women’s empowerment, with “India’s daughters breaking a glass ceiling as Permanent Commission has now been allowed for women officers in new areas and our armed forces will benefit from better gender balance”.

Fulll speech

President Kovind urged citizens to not lower their guard and keep following COVID-appropriate behaviour such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance as the virus keeps making comebacks with new mutations.

“It has been an extraordinary challenge to humankind. The pandemic management was bound to be all the more difficult in India. We have a high population density and, as a developing economy, we did not have the level of resources and infrastructure needed to battle this invisible enemy. But it is only in such difficult times that the resilience of a nation shines forth. I am proud to say that we have shown an unmatched resolve against the coronavirus,” President Kovind said.

“There have been setbacks, unfortunately, as the virus makes a comeback with new mutations. Countless families have gone through a harrowing time. There are no words to express our collective trauma. The only saving grace is that many lives could be saved. As the pandemic is still widespread, we must remain alert and not let our guard down,” he said.

Doctors, nurses and paramedics have risen to the challenge, working long hours in difficult conditions even at risk to their lives to attend to patients. Others have kept the nation moving, managing supply chains and utilities, he said.

Lauding the timely interventions by the country’s leadership, policy-makers, administrators and others at the Central and State levels during coronavirus pandemic, the President said it was a testimony to India’s spirit that the economy is on the move again, and is projected to grow at an impressive rate in this fiscal after a year of contraction.

“The impressive economic performance is made possible due to improvement in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. I am happy to note that our farmers, especially young farmers with small holdings, are enthusiastically adopting natural farming,” the President said.

The President, who delivered his last address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day before his Presidency this July, thanked the constant vigil of the armed forces in securing the borders, and police personnel in maintaining internal security within the country.

“It is our soldiers and security personnel who carry on the legacy of national pride. In the unbearable cold of the Himalayas and in the excruciating heat of the desert, far away from their families, they continue to guard the motherland. It is thanks to the constant vigil of the armed forces securing our borders and the police personnel maintaining internal security within the country that their fellow citizens enjoy a peaceful life,” he said.

He said that when a brave soldier dies on duty, the entire country feels sad, and remembered General Bipin Rawat, one of the bravest commanders, passing away in a tragic accident along with his wife and other brave soldiers.

The President noted that India is an ancient civilisation but a young republic and nation-building is a constant endeavour.

“Patriotism strengthens the sense of duty among citizens. Whether you are a doctor or a lawyer, a shopkeeper or office-worker, a sanitation employee or a labourer, doing one’s duty well and efficiently is the first and foremost contribution you make to the nation,” he said.

“I am confident that India is better placed today to meet the challenges of the future,” he noted, adding that new opportunities await the next generation.

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