Even as the Centre extended the lockdown by two weeks on Friday, the armed forces announced a countrywide celebration by the military on Sunday to celebrate the bravery and dedication of the “Covid-19 warriors”.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, flanked by the army, navy and air force chiefs, announced In New Delhi on Friday that air force planes and helicopters, naval warships and army bands would participate in the celebrations.
“On behalf of the armed forces, we want to thank all Covid-19 warriors, the doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police, home guards, the delivery boys who delivered essential commodities in the homes of the people, and the media which has been reaching out to our population with the message of government on how to carry on with lives during difficult times,” said Rawat.
Focusing the limelight on the public, Rawat said, “We also cannot forget the people of our nation who have strictly adhered to all the guidelines issued by the government from time to time.”
Rawat detailed a string of “special activities for the nation” that the military will be presenting on Sunday.
“We will be conducting fly pasts from Srinagar to Thiruvananthapuram; and from the east in Dibrugarh, across the length and breadth of the country, to Kutch in Gujarat. The fly past will be conducted by fixed wing aircraft and by fighter aircraft,” said Rawat.
"There will also be showering of petals from helicopters on hospitals across the country for saving our country from Covid,” said the CDS.
“The navy on its part will be out on the seas in its formations. You will witness the lighting of our ships on the seashore, expressing solidarity and gratitude once again for our (Covid-19) warriors,” he said.
“The Indian Army on its part will conduct mounted band displays along some of the hospitals, particularly Covid hospitals, not just in Delhi, but in almost every district of our country,” said Rawat.
“To express that we stand by our police forces, the armed forces will also be laying a wreath at the police memorial on the morning of May 3,” said Rawat. It is unprecedented for the military to lay a wreath on a police memorial.
Rawat said the detailed itinerary for these activities on Sunday would be made public later.
“The armed forces stand solidly behind the nation. We convey our gratitude to each and every corona warrior who has been involved in this fight; and to each and every citizen who has adhered to the guidelines emanating from the government,” he said.
“If we are able to win this fight, it will happen because of the patience and discipline displayed by every citizen of our nation,” he concluded.