Tribune News Service
Amritsar, January 27
Urban Development Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria unfurled the national flag on the Republic Day at Guru Nanak Stadium here on Sunday. He said the celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev would remain etched in memory.
In his address, he unveiled development plans of the state government for the district. He said Rs271 crore had been earmarked for developing Sultanpur Lodhi as a heritage town, starting Sarbat Da Bhalla train between Sultanpur Lodhi and New Delhi and establishment of Bebe Nanaki University College. He said the government would celebrate the 399th Parkash Purb of Guru Tegh Bahadur and 350th birth anniversary of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.
About the holy city, he said tenders for development works worth Rs288 crore had been floated and 66,000 street lights were being replaced with LEDs. Earlier, the Cabinet minister took the salute from the marching contingents of Punjab Police, Home Guards, NCC Cadets, Girls Guides, Boys Scouts and school music bands.
He also honoured family members of freedom fighters and distributed tricycles among differently abled persons. Sewing machines were distributed among needy people on the occasion.
The minister felicitated government officials for their commendable services. The cultural programme presented by students of Government School, Majitha, was adjudged best. Besides, the tableau of PSPCL was declared best.
Deputy Commissioner Shivdular Singh Dhillon, Police Commissioner SS Gill and MLAs Raj Kumar Verka, Harpratap Singh Ajnala, Tarsem Singh, Sunil Dutti, Inderbir Singh Bolaria and Santokh Singh Bhalaipur were present on the occasion.
Meanwhile, various organisations and institutions organised events to celebrate the Republic Day here on Sunday.
Officials of the Punjab State War Heroes’ Memorial and Museum invited schools students for the Republic Day celebrations. The students were apprised of the activities of the museum.
Col HP Singh, who is the general manager of the museum and memorial, hoisted the national flag. The students also paid tributes to the martyrs on the occasion.
The IIM-Amritsar celebrated the Republic Day on its college campus. Prof Nagarajan Ramamoorthy, Director, IIM-Amritsar, hoisted the national flag. He asked the students to take lessons from the Constitution.
The IIM-Amritsar also organised a flash mob at the Attari-Wagah border as a continuation to the trend that was followed last year on the Republic Day. Entertaining the crowd, a group of 50 students performed on patriotic songs.
Sankalp, a CSR club of IIM-Amritsar, also organised an event at the Smile Special School for Specially-Abled Children on Republic Day. As part of the event, students of IIM-Amritsar interacted with children. Thereafter, a few games were organised for them. The special students presented cultural events on the occasion.
Deputy Commissioner unfurls flag in Tarn Taran
Deputy Commissioner Pardeep Kumar Sabharwal unfurled the National Flag at the district-level Republic Day function organised here on Sunday. The Deputy Commissioner took salute from the contingents of Punjab Police, Home Guard Jawans, NCC Cadets, scout and girl guides and school band parties in the march-past.
Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Lok Sabha member, local MLA Dr Dharambeer Agnihotri, Neeru Sabharwal, wife of Deputy Commissioner Pardeep Kumar Sabharwal, Harpreet Kaur Randhawa, District and Sessions Judge, and Dhruv Dahiya, SSP, were among the dignitaries present on the occasion.
The DC paid rich tributes to martyrs who laid down their lives for the country’s freedom. He also highlighted different development schemes of the state government and the commitment of the government to eradicate drug menace. The school students presented a colourful PT show and a cultural programme that included gidha and bhangra.
The family members of freedom fighters and martyrs were honoured on the occasion. Awards were given to a few people for their outstanding performance in various fields. Tricycles were distributed among divyangs, while sewing machines were given to needy women and widows. — OC
Facts About Republic Day
- Celebrating Independence Day on January 26! Sounds strange, but in the 1930s, freedom fighters used to celebrate “Independence Day” after the declaration of Purna Swaraj on January 26, 1930.
- After India’s Independence on August 15, 1947, leaders wanted January 26 to be remembered in history as well. Therefore, the day was made to coincide with the day of Swaraj.
- The first Republic Day was celebrated on January 26, 1950.
- Prior to Republic Day, India followed the Government of India Act, 1935, which was compiled and laid down by the British government.
- Dr Rajendra Prasad was sworn in as the first President of India on January 26, 1950, at 10.24 am. During the first Republic Day, the President of India was greeted by a 31-gun salute.
- From 1950-54, Republic Day was celebrated at Irwin Stadium (now called National Stadium), Red Fort, Ramlila Grounds and Kingsway. The first R-Day parade was held at Rajpath in 1955.
- A Christian song, Abide With Me, is played at the Republic Day parade. It is believed to be one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite songs.
- A majority of the national awards such as Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan and Kirti Chakra are awarded during the Republic Day ceremony.
- The Indian Air Force came into existence as an independent body on Republic Day. Prior to this, the Air Force was a controlled body.
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