Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hailed people in the frontline of the battle against coronavirus, saying "corona warriors have lived the mantra of 'Seva Parmo Dharma' and served the people of the country.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on the 74th Independence Day, the Prime Minister said it is an occasion to remember freedom fighters who laid down their lives for the freedom of the country.
"Congratulations and best wishes to all the countrymen on this festival of Independence Day. The sacrifice and the resolve to free the country of lakhs of sons and daughters of Maa Bharati is the reason for us being able to breathe in independent India today. This is a day to remember the sacrifices of our freedom fighters. This is also a day to show gratitude to security personnel including that of Army, paramilitary and police ensuring our safety," PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister also remembered freedom fighter and spiritual guru Sri Aurbindo (Arvind Ghosh), on his birth anniversary.
He referred to the restrictions due to COVID-19 and said that children, the future of the country, were not at present at the celebrations and recalled the tireless contributions of corona warriors.
"We are going through distinct times. I cannot see young children in front of me today (at Red Fort). Corona has stopped everyone. In these times of COVID, Corona warriors have lived the mantra of 'seva parmo dharma' (service is the main duty) and served the people of India. I express my gratitude to them," he said.
Earlier, Prime Minister unfurled the national flag.
On his arrival in front of the Lahore Gate of Red Fort, Prime Minister Modi was received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar.
The Defence Secretary introduced the General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra to the Prime Minister.
The GoC Delhi Area then conducted the Prime Minister to the Saluting Base where a combined Inter-Services and Police Guards presented general salute to PM Modi. The Prime Minister then inspected the Guard of Honour.
The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister consisted of one officer and 24 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. The Guard of Honour was positioned directly in front of the national flag across the moat below the ramparts.
( With inputs from ANI )