Invite Covid warriors to official Independence Day events, MHA tells states, UTs | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The home ministry on Tuesday wrote to all states and Union territories asking them to avoid large congregations of people at Independence day programmes and use technology in the best possible manner to celebrate the occasion in a befitting manner. For the second year in a row, the ministry suggested that Covid-19 warriors like doctors, health workers and sanitation workers as well as some persons who have recovered from the virus attack, be invited for Independence Day events at the state, district, block and panchayat level.
Suggesting some innovative ways of celebrating Independence Day 2021, the ministry in the letter sent to all chief secretaries and UT administrators said propagating patriotic or national integration messages or songs through digital and social media platforms, sound shows or lighting of important public buildings, waving of National Flags by people at rooftops or balconies, etc, may be considered. It added that it would be appropriate that the theme of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ is suitably spread and publicised amongst the masses through various activities or messages in the functions and on social media on that day.
Referring to Covid-19 pandemic, the home ministry said it was imperative to follow certain preventive measures at I-Day celebrations such as maintaining social distancing, wearing of masks, proper sanitization, avoiding large congregations, protecting vulnerable persons, etc; as per norms issued by ministry of home affairs and the ministry of health and family welfare. “The events organized could be web-cast in order to reach out to the people at large, who are not able to participate,” it stated.
At the Central government level, the August 15 celebrations will comprise Guard of Honour to the Prime Minister, unfurling of national flag, national anthem and 21-gun salute, showering of petals by IAF helicopters, PM’s speech and release of tri-coloured balloons at the end. An “At Home” reception will be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the afternoon.
At the state level, the chief minister will unfurl the national flag and deliver the Independence Day speech. The home ministry suggested inviting of Covid-19 warriors, just like last year, “as a recognition of their noble service in fight against Covid-19 pandemic”. Almost the same drill, barring a change in chief guest depending on the level at which the celebration was happening, was suggested for the district, sub-divisional or block level and panchayat headquarter level.
As regards holding of “At Home” reception at Raj Bhawan/Raj Niwas by the Governor/Lt. Governor on the Independence Day, the matter has been left to the discretion of Governors/Lt. Governors. However, in view of Covid-19 pandemic, preventive measures such as maintaining social distancing, wearing of masks, etc were recommended.
Performance of police/military bands, the ministry said, may be recorded at places of historic importance associated with Independence movement; and recorded versions thereof may be displayed through large screens/digital media, during public functions and on social media. Other functions of the day may include activities like planting of trees; inter-school/inter-college debates on digital platforms; online quiz contests/patriotic essay writing and poetry competitions; launching of any important scheme, singing patriotic songs/delivering patriotic talks by selected boys/girls on the social media; illumination of Government Buildings/State Bhawans, etc; thematic webinars, etc.

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