Even though it was a sunny day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the tricolour before addressing the nation on the 75th Independence Day on Sunday, enthusiasm was at its peak among the gathering at the Red Fort.

People began shouting slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Vande Mataram’ and more when two Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters showered flower petals on the venue.

It was the first time when IAF helicopters showered flower petals during the Independence Day celebration as this generally has been a traditional feature on the Republic Day.

The release of tri-coloured balloons was another moment of celebrations.

With multi-layer security, there was special preparation made for following Covid-appropriate behaviour. During the entry at the venue, each person had to remove their masks if they had beards and were given new masks.

“Two big size sanitisers were installed and no one is allowed to enter without sanitising their hands,” said Garima, a security personnel who was reminding visitors to santise.

The sitting arrangement was made ensuring maintaining social distancing in view of Covid protocols.

The presence of Olympians who made the country proud at the Tokyo olympics received more attention from the general public gathered at the venue. Be it police personnel or forces in civil dress deployed to ensure tight security were seeking to click a selfie with them.

General public present at the occasion seemed leaving no opportunity to capture each moment there on their mobile to enjoy with families and friends. “Though, we have visited Red Fort many times in the past, but today’s visit is very special for all of us to be part of the 75th Independence Day. It is the first time we are here at Independence Day,” said a retired civil servant who was accompanied by his family and friends.

Vipin Gupta, a Class 8 student, who was the part of National Cadet Corps (NCC) said he was lucky to be present at the Red Fort venue for the second consecutive year. “It’s an awesome feeling really. I got this opportunity to be here second time because I am from the NCC, otherwise it may not have been possible.”

A separate block was created on the south side of the Red Fort’s ramparts for corona warriors such as healthcare workers to honour them for the pivotal role they played in fighting the pandemic.

–IANS

pd/khz

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