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Curtailed Independence Day celebrations planned due to COVID, no school children to take part


New Delhi [India], July 14: For the first time in history, India will witness a completely different Independence Day function at Red Fort in the national capital, due to COVID-19 pandemic. This year, only 20 per cent VVIPs or other participants will be able to witness the live speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi compared to previous years.

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and ASI Director-General already visited the Red Fort last week to take stock of the preparations. Kumar took stock of arrangements and also asked the concerned officials to make arrangements keeping social distancing in mind.

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According to sources, there would be a complete change this time. While there would no children, cadets of the National Cadet Corps would attend the celebrations at the Red Fort.

Similarly, unlike earlier times, VVIPs wouldn’t be able to sit at the rampart, from where the prime minister delivers Independence Day speech.

Close to 900 VVIPs used to sit on the top on both sides earlier. But this time, they will have to sit at the lower level, with only around a hundred allowed.

More significantly, as many as 1,500 Corona winners, who recovered from the disease, will attend the function. Among, them 500 would be from local police. The other 1,000 would be from different parts of the country.

Till last year, at least 10,000 people used to attend the function to witness the speech of the prime minister.

In a meeting recently, the Ministry of Defence decided that Corona winners, instead of the public, be asked to attend the Independence day celebrations.

Later, the Home Ministry was asked to work accordingly to implement a new plan.