The people of Surat celebrated the National festival of Republic Day with great fervor and festivity as Governor Dr. Shrimati Kamla unfurled National Flag on the morning of Republic Day at Yogi Chawk, in this diamond city of Surat, amid playing of National Anthem by police band and showering of flower petals from Army Helicopter. This grand flag hoisting ceremony was well attended by more than one lakh citizens of Surat. Chief Minister shri Narendra Modi also joined Governor to review the parade along with State police Chief and Chief secretary of the State. This impressive flag hoisting ceremony was followed by a blend of beating of drums for 90 seconds continuously to welcome the State level R-Day celebration.
It may be recalled that the State level celebration of Republic Day is held in Surat to enable people of the district participate in the State level event, that usually held at state capital. A series of cultural programmes including tribal dance, songs on “ Tapi river bank” and on Swarnim Gujarat, a special garba on the famous ‘saaris’ of Surat and a traditional Indian dance were also performed.
Impressive Surya Vandana and Yoga was performed by 2500 students of local schools to mark the occasion. As many as 28 attractive tableaux, depicting developmental activities were presented by various Government departments. Tableau of District Election office was awarded first prize.
An impressive march past ceremony was also conducted on the tune of police band. Dog show and Horse show including tent-pegging and jumping remained the star attraction for the people of Surat. Russian P.T., The crowd lauded Motor bike stunt, gymnastic demonstration and band display with cheers.
Governor and Chief Minister greeted freedom fighters of the district. Prizes to the winners of the best platoons and tableaux were given away. Chief Minister Narendra Modi greeted people present in the pavilion by raising hands and people of Surat welcomed Shri Modi with tremendous cheers and applause after the grand function is over.
MP C.R.Patil, Darshna Jardosh, Pravin Naik, Mayor Rajendra Desai, District Panchayat President Ashwin Patel, Chief secretary A.K. Joti, DGP Chittranjan Singh, Information Commissioner V. Thiruppugazh, Cultural secretary Bhagyesh Jha, Senior State Government officials, Guardian Secretary Arvind Agrawal, SMC Commissioner S. Aparna, Collector A.J. Shah and DDO J.B. Vora were present.
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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.
Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.
Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.
Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.
Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.
Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.
The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.
The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.
The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.
Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.
The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.
They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.