On the occasion of India’s 74th Independence Day celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead fellow countrymen in remembering the brave freedom fighters as well as in inspiring the way forward.
PM Modi will start the day with a visit to Raj Ghat where he will pay his respects to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at 7 am. After spending eight to ten minutes at Raj Ghat, he will leave for Red Fort.
Prime Minister will arrive at Lahori Gate at 7.18 am where he will be welcomed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary and given a guard of honour.
After that PM Modi will unfurl the National Flag at 7.30 am at Red Fort and will also address the nation from here at 7.32 am. The Guards will give him National Salute, Army band will play the National Anthem and 21 gun salute will be given.
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets will sing the national anthem immediately after the address and the Prime Minister will leave the ramparts after the national anthem. The Defence Minister, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the heads of all the three armed forces will see off the Prime Minister.
The Ministry of Defence is organising the Independence Day Flag Hoisting Ceremony on August 15 at the Red Fort maintaining the balance between the sanctity and dignity of the national function while factoring in precautions related to the COVID-19 scenario.
In order to facilitate seamless movement with the least chances of any crowding, seating enclosures and walkways are laid with wooden flooring and carpeting. Additional door frame metal detectors, with adequately spaced markings, have been provided to avoid queuing and to ensure smooth passage for all the invitees. Most of the parking areas have been brick-lined and paved in order to ensure smooth entry and exit of vehicles to the maximum feasible extent.
Members of the Guard of Honour have been under quarantine to bring in safety. The guiding principle for seating has been “Do Gaz ki Doori” (or 6 feet between any two guests seated during the event).
Participation is only through invitation and members who do not have formal invites are requested to refrain from coming to the venue. About 4,000 plus invites have been issued to officials, diplomats, members of public, media etc.
With an eye on safety, NCC Cadets have been invited to witness the event (instead of young school children) and they will be seated at Gyanpath.
In order to sensitize the invitees towards COVID-19 related safety measures, specific advisory for following the COVID related guidelines has been issued along with each invitation card. A request card for the invitee to exhibit restraint and patience during dispersal after the conclusion of the function would be placed on each seat in this regard.
An announcement in this connection will be made from the commentary booth from time to time. Traffic Police advisory will also contain a note on the matter. An orderly dispersal plan has been put in place for implementation through the controlling officials in various enclosures. In this regard, cooperation of all invitees will be earnestly and consistently requested.
Ceremonial drills have also factored due social distancing norms as well as other precautionary measures. Adequate medical booths at four locations, one near the Rampart, one in Madhavdas Park and two in 15 August Park have been set up to cater to any attendee who is detected having any symptoms related to COVID-19 during entry. Ambulances would also be stationed at these four locations.
Thermal screening at all entry points for the invitees has been planned. Thorough sanitization of the premises inside and outside the Red Fort is being carried out on a regular basis.
All invitees have been requested to wear masks. In addition, an adequate number of suitable masks are being kept handy for distribution at various points of venue. Similarly, the availability of hand sanitizers at pre-defined locations has been done. Display boards are placed discreetly to attract the attention of invitees.
Floral arrangements at Gyanpath behind the NCC Cadets have been made in order to enhance the visual appeal of the area.