NewDelhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hoisted the National Flag for the seventh straight time at the Red Fort on the occasion of 74th Independence Day. With this, he became the first non-Congress Prime Minister to do so most often. He surpassed the number of times late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had hoisted the flag on Independence Day.
Narendra Modi on Saturday paid tribute to India's freedom fighters and security forces during his address at the Red Fort on the 74th Independence Day. PM Modi said, "Today, we are breathing in a free India because of hundreds of thousands of our freedom fighters and today's security forces, be it the Army, police or other security forces."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation said, "Three potential vaccines are in testing stages in India. As soon as scientists give green signal, we will begin large scale production." "COVID-19 vaccine will reach every Indian in least possible time when ready," he further said.
Modi said, "In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, 130 crore Indians have pledged to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat." "I am confident that India will realise this dream. Once we Indians decide to do something, we do not rest until we achieve that goal," he added.
Prime Minister also announced National Digital Health Mission, saying it will bring a revolution in India's health sector. "Every Indian will get a health ID," he said. "The health ID will contain details of your every test, every disease, which doctor gave you which medicine and when, what were your reports," he further said.
Modi said, "I can't see young children in front of me today at the Red Fort. Coronavirus has stopped everyone." "We're going through distinct times. In these times of COVID-19, corona-warriors...have served the people. I express my gratitude to them," he added. "I agree that there are lakhs of challenges for Atmanirbhar Bharat. However, if there are lakhs of challenges then the country also has power which gives crores of solutions." He further said, "Today India has also stepped forward to help other countries."
"We have set up a committee to reconsider the minimum age for marriage of our daughters." He added that an appropriate decision will be taken by the government after the committee submits its report. The minimum legal age for marriage is currently 18 for women and 21 for men.
During his address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "A few months back we used to import N-95 masks, PPE kits and ventilators." He added, "Today, India is not only meeting its own requirements but it has also stepped forward to help other countries." Narendra Modi said, "From the Line of Control (LoC) to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), whenever India has been challenged, our soldiers have given a fitting response." Referring to the Galwan Valley face-off, PM Modi added, "What our country can do...the world has seen it in Ladakh."
Modi said, "We have to move forward with the mantra of 'Make in India' as well as 'Make for World'." PM Modi added, "India's share in the world economy should increase for which we have to be self-reliant." "The mindset of free India should be 'vocal for local'. We should appreciate our local products." PM Modi added, "I agree that there are lakhs of challenges for Aatmanirbhar Bharat...If there are lakhs of challenges then the country also has power to give crores of solutions."
He added, "Only 5 dozen village panchayats were connected with optical fibre before 2014. In the last 5 years, 1.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with optical fibre."
"Today, a neighbour is not just the one with whom we share a border but also those with whom our heart stays connected, where there is harmony in relations." "I'm happy that in past some time India has further strengthened its relations with all countries in 'extended neighbourhood'," he added.