Address of the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day. Excerpts via Rashtrapati Bhavan:
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.
Equality is the watchword for the great project of our Republic. Social equality warrants dignity for each one of us, villagers, women, weaker sections of our society, namely, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Divyangjan and the elderly people.
The manner in which India got overwhelming support of the international community for its entry as non-permanent member in the Security Council this year is indicative of that influence. The quality of our engagement with leaders across the world has enhanced manifold.
Though we reiterate our commitment to peace, our defence forces – Army, Air Force and Navy – are adequately mobilised in a well-coordinated move to thwart any attempt to undermine our security. Our national interest will be protected at all costs.
We are supplying medicines and other healthcare items to several countries to alleviate people’s suffering and contain the pandemic across the globe. Now we also provide vaccines to other countries.
I urge upon the countrymen to utilise this lifeline and get vaccinated as per guidelines. Your health opens the way for your advancement.
A self-reliant India has manufactured its own vaccine for Covid-19, and is now undertaking a mass vaccination drive, which will be the largest exercise of its kind in history.
About 1.5 lakh people became victims of this pandemic. I convey my condolences to the bereaved families. Our frontline Corona-warriors were ordinary citizens who turned out to be extraordinary.
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.
Despite adversities of nature, numerous other challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic, our farmers sustained the agricultural production. A grateful nation is fully committed to the welfare of our farmers.
Our national festivals are celebrated by everyone with great patriotic fervour. We celebrate the national festival of the Republic Day with enthusiasm and express our respect for the national flag, and our faith in the Constitution.