The outgoing President appealed to the people to protect the environment for generations to come and said that Mother Nature is in deep pain and the climate crisis could threaten the future of the planet.
He also highlighted the importance of health care and education and said that these along with economic reforms will enable citizens to pursue happiness by discovering their potential. Further, he emphasized that the country is getting equipped to make the 21st century the “Century of India”.
Elected President Draupadi Murmu will take oath as the 15th President of the country on Monday.
In his last televised address to the nation, Kovind said, “The pandemic has underscored the need for further reforms in the public health infrastructure. I am glad that the government has accorded top priority to this task.
“Once education and healthcare kick in, economic reforms will help citizens find the best path for their lives,” he said. “I firmly believe that our country is getting equipped to make the 21st century, the century of India,” he said.
He said that the National Education Policy would go a long way in making it possible for young Indians to connect with their heritage and establish their foothold in the twenty-first century.
The President made a special mention of the threat to the environment and asked all citizens to take care of it for the generations to come.
“Mother Nature is in deep pain and the climate crisis could threaten the future of this planet. We must take care of our environment, our land, air and water for the sake of our children.
“In our daily life and routine choices, we should be more careful to protect our trees, rivers, seas and mountains as well as all other living beings. As a first citizen, if I have an advice to my fellow citizens If it has to be given, it should be this,” he said.
President Kovind also lauded the trinity of ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity, saying they should not be mistaken as abstract as they are “high, noble and evocative”.
“Our history, not only of modern times but also of antiquity, reminds us that they are real; that they can be felt, and have indeed been felt in different eras.
He said, “Our ancestors and the founders of our modern nation exemplified the meaning of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity with hard work and spirit of service. We just have to follow in their footsteps and keep walking.”
And what do such ideals mean to a common citizen today? Kovind asked.
The president stressed, “I believe that the main goal is to help them find the joy of living. For this, their basic needs must first be taken care of.”
During his address, the president went down memory lane to highlight the inherent power of vibrant democratic institutions.
Kovind recalled his earlier days when the country had just achieved independence and said, “There was a new wave of energy, new dreams, to rebuild the country. I also had a dream, that one day I would be a I will be able to participate in this nation-building exercise in a meaningful way”.
“A young boy living in a mud house may have had no idea about the highest constitutional office of the republic. But it is a testament to the strength of India’s democracy that it encouraged every citizen to participate in our shaping. The way has been made for the collective destiny.
“If Ram Nath Kovind of Paraunkh village is addressing you today, it is entirely thanks to the inherent strength of our vibrant democratic institutions,” he said.
In his farewell speech on the eve of completing his five-year term as President, Kovind said that the founders of our modern nation exemplified the meaning of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity with an attitude of hard work and service. , and “we just have to follow in his footsteps and keep walking.”
The President said that the country is working towards providing better housing, drinking water and electricity to every family.
“This change has been made possible by the pace of development and good governance, in which there is no discrimination,” he said.
Kovind said the formal map for the democratic path “we are all navigating, was prepared by the Constituent Assembly” and the Constitution he prepared with the invaluable contribution of each of them has been our guide.
The outgoing President quoted Dr. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar’s closing remarks in the Constituent Assembly as saying, “The values contained in it have been a part of the Indian ethos since time immemorial, where he pointed out the difference between political and social democracy.”
“What is meant by social democracy? It means a way of life that recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as principles of life.
“These principles of liberty, equality and fraternity should not be treated as separate items in a trinity. They form a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat the very purpose of democracy,” Kovind quoted Ambedkar. As said.
President Kovind said that in modern times, the country’s glorious journey began with the awakening of nationalist sentiments and the beginning of the freedom struggle during the colonial rule.
“There were many rebellions across the country in the nineteenth century. The names of many heroes who brought the hope of a new dawn have long been forgotten.
“The contribution of some of them has been appreciated only in recent times. Around the turn of the century, various conflicts were coming together, creating a new consciousness,” he said.
When Gandhiji returned to the motherland in 1915, nationalist fervor was gaining momentum, Kovind said, referring to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru and Syama Prasad Mookerjee.
“From Tilak and Gokhale to Bhagat Singh and Netaji, to Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel And Shyama Prasad Mukherjee To Sarojini Naidu And Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay – nowhere in the history of mankind have so many great minds come together for a common cause,” he said.
Expressing deep gratitude to all fellow citizens and elected representatives, Kovind said that he is inspired and excited by the interaction with farmers and workers of small villages, teachers who shape young minds, artists who enrich our heritage, Scholars and business people examining various aspects of our country Wealth to the nation.
He also mentioned the doctors and nurses serving the people, the scientists and engineers engaged in nation building, the judges and advocates who contributed to the justice delivery system of the country and the civil servants who run the administration smoothly.
He said, ‘Our social workers are actively connecting every social class with development, preachers and gurus of all sects maintaining the flow of spirituality in Indian society – all of you constantly helped me in discharging my duties Is.’
“In short, I got full cooperation, support and blessings from all sections of the society. I will especially cherish those occasions when I got the opportunity to meet our brave jawans of Armed Forces, Para-Military Forces and Police. The fervor of patriotism is as wonderful as it is inspiring,” the President said.
Referring to his interactions with overseas Indians during foreign visits, Kovind said he found their love and concern for the motherland very touching.
“All these reaffirm the belief that the nation is ultimately made up of its citizens, and as each one of you strives to make India better and better, the great future of the country is secure,” he said.
Kovind said that visiting his home during his tenure and touching the feet of his teachers in Kanpur to seek their blessings is one of the most memorable moments of his life.
“This year the Prime Minister also honored my village Paraunkh with his visit. This connection to our roots has been the essence of India. I would request the younger generation to carry on this tradition of being associated with their village or town, their schools and Keep it up. Teacher,” said the president.
Stating that he has discharged his responsibilities to the best of his ability and is conscious of being the successor of great icons like Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr S Radhakrishnan and Dr APJ. Abdul Kalam“Still, whenever I was in doubt, I used to turn to Gandhiji and his famous talisman”, Kovind said.
“His advice to remember the face of the poorest man and ask himself whether the action I am about to take would be of any use to him. At the risk of repeating myself, I would like to ask you, at least in Gandhiji’s life and I would urge you to reflect on the teachings. A few minutes every day.”
(with inputs from PTI)