New Delhi: The foundations of the country are equality, secularism and friendship. There were many more people doing a lot for the country, who cannot be mentioned, but would like to thank as well for their service. The nation’s freedom fighters fought not only for the nation’s independence, but also for social change, said President of India Ram Nath Kovind. He was addressing the nation on the eve of the 69th Republic Day.
He further said, a happy and equal-opportunity nation was built by happy and equal-opportunity families and communities. Families where girls had the same rights and the same access to education and healthcare as boys. Governments could bring in policies and laws to ensure justice to women – but these policies and laws could only be made effective by families and communities which hear the voices of their daughters. He said that none of us could shut ears to their urgings for change.
Stressing on a selfless nation he said the nation with a sense of selflessness was built by citizens and by a society that embraced selflessness. Where voluntary groups clean public places such as beaches and rivers. And cared for orphaned children and homeless people, and even for homeless animals. They do so not because anybody has asked them to, but because of a call from within.
Kovind also said that more than 60 per cent of Indian citizens are below 35 years of age. They are the future of the country. He said various programmes have been started by the government to impart better education to the youth, which they should take advantage of. He urged to keep up with time and follow sustainable development, he said.
One of the biggest challenges is dealing with malnutrition of the children of the country and although much progress has been made, a lot more needs to be done, said President Kovind.
President Kovind ended his speech congratulating all citizens, saying everyone would be inspired by the country’s culture and traditions.