NEW DELHI — India’s Defense Ministry said Friday that it was organising Independence Day flag hoisting ceremony on Saturday in the capital, maintaining the balance between sanctity and dignity of the national function while factoring in precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In order to facilitate seamless movement with the least chances of any crowding, seating enclosures and walkways are laid with wooden flooring and carpeting. Additional door frame metal detectors with adequately spaced markings have been provided to avoid queuing and to ensure smooth passage for all the invitees,” the ministry said. “Most of the parking areas have been brick lined and paved in order to ensure smooth entry and exit of vehicles to the maximum feasible extent.”
The ministry said members of the guard of honor have been under quarantine to bring in safety. It has also requested all invitees to wear masks. “The guiding principle for seating has been ‘Do Gaz kiDoori’ (or 6 feet between any two guests seated during the event,” the ministry said. “In addition, adequate number of suitable masks are being kept handy for distribution at various points of venue. Similarly, availability of hand sanitizers at pre-defined locations has been done.”
The participation to the function is only through invitation and members who do not have formal invites are requested to refrain from coming to the venue. “About 4,000 plus invites have been issued to officials, diplomats, members of public, media etc.,” the ministry said. The annual Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort will be limited to the presentation of the guard of honor to the Prime Minister by the armed forces and police.
There will be unfurling of the national flag, accompanied by playing of the national anthem, and firing of a 21-gun salute. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation. This year schoolchildren will not be attending the event this year and only the cadets of the National Cadet Corps would attend the celebrations.