Must focus on improving quality of life of marginalised sections, women, says Industries Minister

The Minister also promised of readying a plan to revive and modernise Khadi sector

Improving the quality of life of marginalised sections of society and women is the need of the hour, Minister for Industries, P. Rajeeve, said on Sunday after hoisting the national tricolour at the Civil Station premises in Kochi to mark the country’s 75th Independence Day.

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, he said that each decision must help improve the lot of the underprivileged in India, since it would further the cause of equality of all people. “Making value-added items from agricultural produce can help improve the lot of farmers. Everyone must strive for a knowledge-based society, while upholding the democratic spirit, in order to build a new Kerala.”

Unparalleled diversity

Mr. Rajeeve said that it was time to reasess the strengths and weaknesses of our country and celebrate the richness of its diversity, and reminded how the Brits were ousted from the country through mass agitations across India. This common cause brought about national unity, despite diversity, and also found resonance in the Constitution. Federalism and secularism is at the core of binding together all States and Union Territories in India, he added.

Covid warriors

A cross section of Covid warriors — doctors, nurses, paramedics and cleaning staff — were special invitees at the event. They included Dr. Anoop Tulasi from the Family Health Centre in Kuttampuzha (a tribal hamlet).

Later, Mr. Rajeeve garlanded the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Civil Station premises and planted a sapling to inaugurate Nehru Yuva Kendra’s star-plants forest, under the Swachh Bharat scheme.

The MLAs from the district, District Collector Jafar Malik and City Police Commissioner C.H. Nagaraju were among those who were present.

Three platoons of police, including from the Women’s battallion and personnel of Ernakulam Rural police also participated.

Khadi master plan

Inaugurating the State-level Independence Day celebrations of Kerala Khadi Gramavyavasaya Board at Khadi Tower here, Mr. Rajeeve said a master plan will be readied to revive and modernise the Khadi sector. There is good response to the ‘Khadi-handloom challenge’. He unfurled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the premises.

Southern Naval Command

The 75th Independence Day was observed by a ceremonial parade comprising 24 platoons, at the Southern Naval Command (SNC) in Kochi.

The platoons included six armed platoons and 50 men of the Tri-Services Guard of Honour. The parade was reviewed by Vice-Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, SNC. Earlier, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at the War Memorial in the naval base, to pay tribute to martyrs.

The parade, commanded by Commander K. Rohit, was accompanied by the SNC Band, which played stirring martial music. Addressing the Navy personnel and others, V. Adm. Chawla reminded everyone of the sacrifices of men and women who laid down their lives in the country’s freedom struggle.

He also stressed on the role of the SNC, the Navy’s training command, in ensuring all-round training of men and women to be better professionals and to ensure that they were fully equipped to carry out their assigned jobs onboard various units. He congratulated personnel of the command who were conferred distinguished awards on the occasion.

The admiral specially mentioned the role played by all the COVID-19 warriors in combating the pandemic. All naval ships here were ‘Dressed Overall’ with various signal flags to mark the festive occasion.

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