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Stage Set For 77th Independence Day

PM Modi To Lead Celebrations At Red Fort ** 1,800 People Invited As ‘Special Guests’

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NEW DELHI, Aug 13 (PTI): Around 1,800 ‘special guests’ from different walks of life, including several workers employed in the construction of the new Parliament building, have been invited to attend the 77th Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort on August 15.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the nation in marking the occasion.

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Besides, 75 couples from each state and Union Territory, in their traditional attire, have been invited to witness the ceremony, the defence ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

As part of the celebrations, selfie points dedicated to different government schemes and initiatives have been installed at 12 locations, including the National War Memorial, India Gate and Vijay Chowk, it said.

Around 1,800 people from different vocations, with their spouses, have been invited as special guests from across the country to be a part of the celebrations at the Red Fort.

A larger number of guests have been invited compared to last year. The invitation to the about 1,800 special guests has been extended in line with the government’s vision of ‘Jan Bhagidari’, the ministry said.

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These special guests include over 400 sarpanches of more than 660 vibrant villages; 250 from the farmer-producer organisations scheme; 50 participants each of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana; 50 ‘shram yogis (construction workers)’ of the Central Vista project, including the new Parliament building; 50 khadi workers, those involved in construction of border roads, making of Amrit Sarovars and Har Ghar Jal Yojana each, as well as 50 primary school teachers, nurses and fisherfolk each.

Some of these special guests are scheduled to visit the National War Memorial and call on minister of state for defence Ajay Bhatt as part of their stay in Delhi, the statement said.

This year’s Independence Day will also see the culmination of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, launched from the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad by Modi on March 12, 2021, and will, once again, usher the country into ‘Amrit Kaal’ with renewed vigour to realise the dream of making India a developed country by 2047, it said.

Modi will unfurl the national flag and deliver the customary address to the nation from the ramparts of the historic monument.

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Selfie points dedicated to different schemes and initiatives of the government have also been installed at New Delhi railway station, Pragati Maidan, Raj Ghat, the metro stations at Jama Masjid, Rajiv Chowk, Delhi Gate and the ITO metro gate, Naubat Khana and Sheesh Ganj Gurudwara, the ministry added.

The defence ministry will also conduct an online selfie contest on the MyGov portal from August 15-20. All official invites have been sent online through the Aamantran portal and 17,000 e-invitation cards have been issued through it, the statement said.

Upon his arrival at the Red Fort on August 15, Modi will be received by defence minister Rajnath Singh, Bhatt and defence secretary Giridhar Aramane, the ministry said.

The defence secretary will introduce the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Delhi Area, Lt Gen Dhiraj Seth, to the Prime Minister, it said.

Lt Gen Seth will then conduct the Prime Minister to the saluting base, where a combined Inter-Services and Delhi Police Guard will present a general salute to the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister will then inspect the guard of honour, the ministry said.

The guard of honour contingent will consist of one officer and 25 personnel each from the Army, Air Force and the Delhi Police and one officer and 24 personnel from the Navy.

The Army is the coordinating service this year. The guard of honour will be commanded by Maj Vikas Sangwan, it said.

After inspecting the guard of honour, Modi will proceed to the ramparts of Red Fort, where he will be greeted by the defence minister, his deputy, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan, Army Chief Manoj Pande, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.

Lt Gen Seth will then conduct the Prime Minister to the dais on the ramparts to unfurl the national flag, the statement said.

“After being unfurled, the Tricolour will receive a ‘Rashtriya Salute’. The Army band, consisting of one JCO (junior commissioned officer) and 20 other ranks, will play the national anthem during the unfurling of the national flag and presenting of the Rashtriya Salute. The band will be conducted by Naib Subedar Jatinder Singh,” it said.

The unfurling of the national flag will be synchronised with the 21-gun salute by gunners of the elite 8,711 Field Battery (Ceremonial), the statement said.

The National Flag Guard, comprising five officers and 128 other ranks from the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Delhi Police, will present the Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the national flag by the Prime Minister, it added.

As soon as the Tricolour is unfurled, flower petals will be showered at the venue by two Advanced Light Helicopters Mark-III Dhruv of the Indian Air Force in the Line Astern formation.

Thereafter, the Prime Minister will address the nation.

At the conclusion of Modi’s speech, National Cadet Corps cadets will sing the national anthem and 1,100 boy and girl cadets (Army, Navy and Air Force) from different schools across the country will take part during this festival, the statement said.

Bleachers have been installed at the Gyan Path, on which the cadets will be seated in their official white dress, it added.

Another highlight of the programme will be the G20 logo, which will be part of the floral decorations at the Red Fort, the ministry said.

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