File photo: President Ram Nath Kovind. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday addressed the nation for the first time on the eve of 69th Republic Day of India.
Earlier in the day today, President Kovind received the ASEAN Heads of State and Government at Rashtrapati Bhavan and hosted a lunch in their honour.
Here are the highlights of his speech:
President Ram Nath Kovind said today is the day to remember the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the country.
President Kovind recalls contributions of nurses who serve the people, sanitary workers who help keep the nation clean, teachers who educate the people, scientists who innovate, and engineers who help build new infrastructure.
Senior citizens who can look back with pride at how far they have brought our Republic; the youth in whom lie the energy, hopes and future of our Republic; and our dear children, who dream for our Republic #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 25, 2018
President Kovind pays tributes to soldiers who protect the nation, to farmers who feed us, to police and paramilitary forces who provide us security, to mothers who take care of us, and to doctors who treat people who are ill.
Our people are not only the builders of this republic, but are its pillars, says Kovind.
Independence had come after a great struggle in which millions had participated. They gave their all; many gave their lives. Inspired and led by Mahatma Gandhi, the men and women who took us to freedom could have rested on the gaining of Independence #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 25, 2018
President Kovind thanked all army men, doctors, farmers, nurses, scientists, engineers and the mothers of the county.
He said there were many more people doing a lot for the country, who he could not mention, but would like to thank as well for their service.
He said various programmes have been started by the government to impart better education to the youth, which they should take advantage of.
One of the biggest challenges is dealing with malnutrition of the children of the country and although much progress has been made, a lot more needs to be done, said President Kovind.