Climate Change, Women Empowerment: Key Takeaways From President's Republic Day Speech
President Droupadi Murmu in her address on the eve of Republic Day congratulated the people of India and said that the country has come a long way from abject poverty and illiteracy.
President Droupadi Murmu congratulated the people of the country on the eve of Republic Day on Wednesday. In her address to the nation, the President said that the day is celebrated to commemorate the country's achievements. "We are all one, and we are all Indians. So many creeds and so many languages have not divided us but united us. That's why we have succeeded as a democratic republic. This is the essence of India," she said.
The President also spoke about the government's efforts in women's empowerment and stabilising the economy during the pandemic.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El –Sisi has been invited as the chief guest for Republic Day this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Sisi to India and said, "Warm welcome to India, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Your historic visit to India as Chief Guest for our Republic Day celebrations is a matter of immense happiness for all Indians."
Here are the key takeaways from her maiden Republic Day address:
Women's empowerment and gender equality are no longer mere slogans, President Murmu said. "During my visits to various states and educational institutions and while meeting delegates of various professions, I am amazed by the confidence of young women," she said. Talking about campaigns such as the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' for the empowerment of women, the President said that there has been a gradual rise in the participation of women in every sphere of activity.
India as a growing power
"India has moved from being a poor and illiterate nation to a confident nation on the world stage," she said, adding that India became the fifth-largest economy in the world last year. "This progress would not have been possible without the guidance from the collective wisdom of the framers of the Constitution," she said.
"The national movement, led by Mahatma Gandhi, was as much about winning Independence as about rediscovering our own ideals," she said. The President also said that years of colonial rule had caused abject poverty and illiteracy in India.
"This year India is presiding over the group of G-20 countries. In line with our ideal of universal brotherhood, we stand for peace and prosperity for all. The Presidency of the G-20 gives India a very important role to play in contributing to building a better world," she said.
Lessons from tribal communities
President Murmu said that the tribal communities have lessons to offer in various fields of life--from protecting the environment to making society more cohesive. "This vision of empowerment guides the working of the government for the weaker sections of the people, including the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes," she said, adding the government's aim is to remove obstacles in the lives of those people and help them grow, while also learn from those communities.
Challenge of climate change
The President said that the challenge of climate change needs to be addressed "urgently". "Global temperatures are rising and extreme forms of climate change are visible," she said, adding that there needs to be a balance between development and the environment. "We have to look at the ancient traditions from a new perspective. We also have to reconsider our basic priorities. The scientific dimensions of traditional life-values have to be understood."
"If we want our children to lead a happy life on this earth then we need to change our lifestyle," she said.
She further said that the United Nations has accepted India's suggestion and declared the year 2023 as The International Year of Millets. "If more and more people include coarse grains in their diet, it will help in environmental protection and also improve the health of the people."
Contribution of citizens
Thanking the people of India for their contribution to building the country, she made special mention of soldiers, farmers, labourers, scientists and engineers. "Their collective strength enables our country to move forward in the spirit of "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan," she said.
"I especially appreciate the brave jawans who guard our borders and are always ready for any sacrifice. I also appreciate the brave soldiers of all the para-military forces and police forces who provide internal security to the countrymen," the president said.
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