This year’s Independence Day celebrations will be a severely restricted affair, both in the national capital and across the country, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic that has infected a massive population. Read below to know this year’s Independence Day schedule, major changes in celebration, protocols, and restrictions have been issued.
- Guard of honor by Armed Forces and the Delhi Police to the Prime Minister at the Red Fort: Prime Minister’s schedule at the Red Fort would include a guard of honor by three branches of the military- The Army, The Air Force, and the Navy-with 22 soldiers and officers to take part.
- National Flag unfurling, accompanied by playing of the National Anthem and a 21 gun salute: A further 32 soldiers and officers will take part in the national salute, while 350 Delhi Police personnel will also be present. During the ceremony, all soldiers will stand in four lines and follow social distancing.
- PM’s speech followed by the singing of National Anthem: Prime Minister would unfurl the flag at 7.30 a.m. and speak for between 45 and 90 minutes. School children will be absent this year on the foreground.
- Releasing of tri-colored balloons to mark the end of the ceremony: This ceremony would be conducted at the end of the ceremony for the success of the event and also reflecting patriotism.
Major changes in this year’s celebration
- COVID-19 warriors – doctors, health workers, and others are likely to be invited.
- This year, there will be no performance by the school children.
- The two grounds on either side of the Red Fort are likely to be closed.
- This year, only 500 around NCC (National Cadet Corps) members will be invited.
- The number of guests has drastically reduced with only 120 in total- 60 on each side of ramparts.
- The military bands will also not be performing live in because of the pandemic.
- While photographers from news agencies and official media will be permitted, the cameramen from private companies will not be allowed.
Protocols for Independence Day
- The 350 Delhi police personnel who will be part of the guard honor have been quarantined.
- Proper sanitization of the Red Fort will be carried out before the event.
- Everyone attending the event will have to compulsorily wear a mask of face cover.
- Minimum staff will be present wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
- Media presence will be restricted during the event. Only those photographers who have tested negative in coronavirus test will be allowed to go near PM.
- Chairs will be placed in designated areas to ensure social distancing.
- A ceremony in the morning (after 9.00 a.m.) will be held in the state capital of the unfurling of the National Flag by the Chief Minister.
- States have been asked to avoid hefty congregations.
- They have been asked to use technology to webcast the celebrations.
- It has been asked to the state governments to suitably spread the theme of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” in all the activities related to Independence Day.
- Flying of ‘sub-conventional aerial platforms’ over the city until 15th August is prohibited, due to security threats. These include paragliders, hot air balloons, quadcopters, etc.
- Traffic restrictions are in place in the national capital region for the Independence Day function and the dress rehearsal.
- Some of the roads in Delhi are suggested to avoid till 15th