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    Covid-19 pandemic reduces Independence Day celebration a mere ceremony

    The Assam government has decided to exclude all the cultural programmes, sports events and the award distribution ceremony, from the core list of items of the Independence Day celebration, keeping in mind the health protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

    GUWAHATI: This year, the people of the state will witness a mere ceremony on August 15 in the name of Independence Day celebration as the Assam government has announced exclusion of a number of programmes of major attractions keeping in mind the prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    In a circular, issued to all the deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and sub-divisional officers, Secretary to the government of Assam, general administration (A) department, GD Laskar said, “It is imperative to follow certain preventive measures maintaining the health protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare while celebrating the Independence Day in a manner befitting the occasion.”

    As per the circular was a concern, this year, the participation of school and college students, national cadet corps, scouts and guides, in the ceremonial march-past shall not be allowed. Moreover, cultural programmes or sports events shall not be organised as a part of the official celebration nor as an exclusive event.

    Award ceremony shall not be conducted as a part of the programme. However, names of the awardees may be announced at the official function. The awards shall be handed over to the awardees at their respective homes by a representative of the Deputy Commissioner.

    According to the circular, at the state level, a ceremony in the morning (After 9 AM) shall be held at the state capital for unfurling of the national flag by the chief minister. The national anthem shall be played. It shall be followed by a speech by the chief minister.

    There shall be a presentation of guard of honour and march-past by the police including Assam police, para-military forces and home guards.

    Large congregation in the ceremony is to be avoided. Invitation for the celebration shall be limited keeping in mind the health protocols issued in relation to the prevalence covid-19. The invitation shall not exceed one-third of the seating capacity of the venue.

    It would also be appropriate that Covid-19 warriors like doctors, health workers, sanitation workers, etc are invited in the ceremony as recognition of their noble service in fight against Covid-19 pandemic. Some persons cured from Covid-19 pandemic infection may also be invited.

    The entire parade contingents as well as the parade band for the march-past shall be tested for Covid-19 before their participation.

    Accordingly, at the district level, a similar ceremony shall be held in the morning at the district level which may be, inter-alia, consisting of unfurling of the national flag by a minister/ district magistrate/ sub-divisional officer (Civil) and paying off the national anthem.      

    Photo Credit: Business Today (Representative Image)       

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