President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday addressed the nation on the eve of 74th Independence Day.

The address is being broadcast on All India Radio (AIR) and all Doordarshan channels in Hindi, followed by the English version.

“Unlike every year, this Independence Day won’t be celebrated with pomp and show,” the President said.

Appreciating the Centre and state government for taking steps to contain the coronavirus, President said India’s role in dealing with the pandemic is a lesson for the world.

“The steps taken by the government at the correct time helped to contain the virus.”

“The nation owes to all the doctors and the health care workers who were at the forefront during the coronavirus battle,” he said.

“They are an example of service-warriors. They keep duty above all to serve the nation in the health crisis,” President said.

“August 15 fills us with the excitement of unfurling the tricolour, taking part in celebrations and listening to patriotic songs,” he said.

“On this day, the youth of India should feel the special pride of being citizens of a free nation. We gratefully remember our freedom fighters and martyrs whose sacrifices have enabled us to live in an independent nation,” President added.

Speaking on the PM’s Atmanirbhar Bharat call, President said, “India’s self-reliance means being self-sufficient without alienating or creating distance from the world. It implies that India will continue to engage with the world economy while maintaining its identity.”

President also mentioned the recent India-China standoff at the Galwan valley by saying, “Even while the world community needs to fight together against the greatest challenge before humanity, some in our neighbourhood tried to carry out their misadventure of expansion. Our brave soldiers laid down their lives defending our borders. Those worthy sons of Bharat Mata lived and died for national pride.”

“The entire nation salutes the martyrs of Galwan Valley. Every Indian feels grateful to their family members. Their bravery in combat has demonstrated that while we believe in peace, we are also capable of giving a befitting response to any attempt of aggression,” he added.

The foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Ram Temple was also in the President’s address.

“Only ten days ago, construction of the temple at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi began, in Ayodhya. It was indeed a moment of pride for all. People of the country maintained restraint and patience for a long time and reposed unflinching trust in the judicial system,” he said.