Gandhi, COVID, Olympics: Highlights from President Kovind's I-Day address
- The President spoke to the Indian Olympic contingent ahead of the address
- "We're especially proud of our daughters," Kovind adressed the women's hockey team
- He urged people to get vaccinated
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the country on the eve of the 75th Independence Day. He largely spoke about Team India's successful Tokyo Olympics campaign, the state of COVID-19 in India and the achievements of the country in the past year.
"Happy Independence Day to all Indians living in India and abroad. This day is a day of great joy and happiness for all of us," President Kovind began his address.
"This year's Independence Day has special significance because from this year onwards we all are celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence on the occasion of 75th anniversary of our independence," he continued.
He talked about the devastating second wave of COVID-19 in the country, expressing sympathy with those who had lost their loved ones, adding that he was standing with them in their loss.
“Our Covid strategy has helped save many lives," he said, adding that the pandemic had adversely impacted the nation’s economic situation, but that the setback was temporary."
He further congratulated the Indian Olympics contingent.
President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated athletes for their stupendous performance in Tokyo Olympics.
“This team has bagged the highest number of medals for the country in Olympics history. The entire nation is proud of your achievements,” he said.
“We're especially proud of our daughters who displayed world-class performance despite facing many challenges. You gave us a reason to celebrate amid Covid. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose when you participate in a game but every time you learn a new thing,” he added.
President Kovind further urged all the countrymen to get vaccinated as per protocol as soon as possible.
Ahead of his Independence address on Saturday, Indian President Ram Nath Kovid interacted with the Indian Olympic contingent at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Centre, Delhi.
The president's address was broadcasted from 1900 hours on the entire national network of All India Radio (AIR) and telecast over all channels of Doordarshan in Hindi followed by the English version, it said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the national flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Sunday to celebrate the country's 75th Independence Day and two Mi-17 1V helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will shower flower petals at the venue for the first time ever.
Thirty-two athletes -- who have won medals at Olympics -- and two officials of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) have been invited to participate in the celebrations at the Red Fort on Sunday, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.