Independence Day Amid COVID-19: No School Kids, Less Dignitaries
States have been asked to lay emphasis on the theme of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
No school children – barring NCC cadets – will be invited to the Red Fort this year for Independence Day celebrations, say media reports.
Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Independence Day 2020 is slated to be a “low-key” affair, reported NDTV, with fewer dignitaries in attendance.
The government has also told the states and union territories that it would be "appropriate to invite COVID-19 warriors like doctors, health workers and sanitation workers”, reported NDTV.
Push For ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’
The chairs, according to the NDTV report, will be placed at a six-feet distance. There won’t be any seating on the rugs, and police will be wearing PPE kits.
An ‘At Home’ reception is also slated to be held. However, the details of the reception are yet to be disclosed.
According to NDTV, states have been asked to lay emphasis on the theme of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
“It would be appropriate that the theme of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ is suitably spread and publicised among the masses through various activities/ messages in the functions and on the social media during the Independence Day celebrations.”Ministry of Home Affairs
The Home Ministry has also reportedly asked the states to ensure social distancing, wearing masks, proper sanitisation, and safety of the most vulnerable, among other conditions and measures, while organising 15 August programmes.
The advisory issued by the government reportedly states that invitations will be sent to “COVID-19 warriors” like doctors, health workers and sanitation workers. It also says:
“All programmes should be organised ensuring that large congregation of people is avoided and technology used in the best possible manner. The events organised could be webcast in order to reach out to a large number of people who are not able to participate.”
Getting the Ground Ready
The Red Fort will be shut for the public from 1 August, to carry out sanitisation and preparation for the Independence Day.
The Indian Express reports that the government has, however, been finding it hard to arrange workers. An official reportedly told The Indian Express:
“There are usually around 2,000 workers on site. But we have managed to get only half since many have gone back to their villages. We had to call some of them back and pay a higher amount in wages.”
According to The Indian Express report, agencies involved in getting the ground ready for Independence Day celebrations this year include Delhi Police, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Delhi Public Works Departments, and the Central Public Works Department.
(With inputs from NDTV and The Indian Express.)
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