The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday said that the theme of Aatmanirbhar Bharat would be appropriate for the Independence Day celebrations this year.

In a four-page detailed guideline on how Independence Day celebration must be followed by the states this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the MHA said that it would be appropriate that COVID-19 warriors like doctors, health workers, sanitation workers etc are invited in the ceremony as a recognition of their noble service in fight against the pandemic.

“Some persons cured of COVID-19 may also be invited,” the guidelines said.

“It would be appropriate that the theme of “AatmaNirbhar Bharat” is suitably spread and publicized amongst the masses through various activities/messages in the functions and in social media during independence day celebrations,” it added.

“In view of the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, while organizing various programmes or activities for the Independence Day celebrations, it is imperative to follow certain preventive measures such as maintaining social distancing, wearing of masks, proper sanitization, avoiding large congregations, protecting vulnerable persons, etc.; and follow all guidelines related to Covid-19 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health a Family Welfare,” the guidelines said.

The MHA said that the ceremony at Red Fort will consist of the presentation of a Guard of Honour by the Armed Forces and the Delhi Police to the Prime Minister (PradhanMantri), unfurling of the National Flag accompanied by playing of the National Anthem and firing of 21-gun salute, speech by the Prime Minister, singing of the National Anthem immediately after PM’s speech, and release of tricoloured balloons at the end and followed by “At Home” reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

All chief ministers have been advised to follow the same pattern while unfurling the flag at around 9 am on August 15.

“As regards holding of “At Home” reception at Raj Bhawan /Raj Niwas by the Governor/Lt Governor on the Independence Day, the matter is left to the discretion of Governors/Lt. Governors,” it added.

The MHA also asked states to rely on technology while holding programmes on August 15, 2020.

“Performance of Police/Military bands may be recorded at places of historic importance associated with the Independence movement and recorded versions thereof may be displayed through large screens/digital media, during public functions and on social media,” it added.

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