New Delhi [India], March 12 (ANI): Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday called for concerted efforts to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, corruption, and other social evils like gender discrimination as part of building an economically stronger India. He said that it would be a real tribute to our freedom fighters.
In a Facebook post on the occasion of the launch of 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' -- a 75-week festival to commemorate 75 years of India's independence -- the Vice President said that this was a defining moment in our nation's journey and an opportunity to recollect the legacy bequeathed to us by Mahatma Gandhi and countless other freedom fighters, as per a PIB release.
He said that it is our solemn duty to remember and celebrate the extraordinary spirit of our freedom fighters, their supreme sacrifices, and their lofty ideals.
Referring to the 'padyatra' (foot march) which commenced earlier in the day from Sabarmati to Dandi over 25 days, retracing the footsteps of 'Bapu' during the historic Salt March, Naidu said it is a befitting celebration of India's hard-earned independence and marks a unique way of mapping the nation's eventful journey since independence.
He said the 'padyatra' symbolises our commitment to draw inspiration from the past and work together to meet the current and evolving challenges with single-minded devotion, courage and confidence.
Remembering the Dandi March, the Vice President said that it "electrified" the nation at that time with a simple yet powerful symbol of salt. He said Gandhi ji, with his unwavering commitment to non-violence and an iron-will to take what is rightfully ours, showed the British and the world that India would not bow down to force and repression.
Naidu also stressed the need to educate youth on the lives of country's great heroes and how thousands of courageous men and women of our "great nation" stood in the frontlines of the freedom struggle and helped India overthrow the "yoke of colonial rule".
The Vice President reminded that as we enjoy the fruits of our independence, we must also understand that this vision of freedom is fully realised only when we achieve the goals and promises we have set for ourselves in the Constitution.
Naidu advised that for India to become more prosperous and stronger, it is of vital importance for the people and particularly the youngsters, to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
"We should also go back to civilizational roots, uphold universal values, remain environmentally conscious and always live in harmony with nature. It is our duty to handover a greener and healthier planet to future generations."
Naidu also added that the citizens must resolve to be at the forefront to fight and foil attempts by forces that try to divide people on superficial grounds.
He recalled how at the time of independence, many had speculated about the resilience of India's integrity, with its vast area and diverse cultures. Saying that India has proved them conclusively wrong, Naidu said that India's diversity and our common civilizational values actually give strength to the unity of the nation.
He observed that we believe in the liberty of the individual and the peaceful co-existence of all communities, and recognise the common bonds that unite all of us. "This 'Bharatiyata' is what keeps us united," he emphasised.
The Vice President observed that going forward we must carry the same spirit and vow to forge a stronger and more prosperous India. He advised that we must ensure that every citizen has access to good education, health, employment and nutrition. "We must strive to become 'atmanirbhar' or self-reliant in all areas--that is the greatest tribute we can pay to our freedom fighters." (ANI)