Urging people to become partners in the development process of the country, President Ram Nath Kovind said that there should partnership between citizens and the government.
In his maiden address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day, President Kovind said that people and the government should work with unity and purpose to ensure that the benefits of government policies reach all sections of society.
“Our nation has been built by a partnership between citizen and government, between individual and society, between a family and the wider community,” he said in the address to the nation.
The President said that while the government had taken policy decisions to build toilets under the Swachh Bharat initiative, enable communication infrastructure, and save the girl child, it was only through a partnership between citizens and the government that the benefits of these programmes would reach all sections of people.
Kovind also said that the process of building a New India by 2022, when the country celebrates its 75th year of Independence, must ensure a compassionate society, and not just one that is moving into the future.
“A compassionate society where the traditionally disadvantaged, whether SCs (Scheduled Castes), STs (Scheduled Tribes) or OBCs (Other Backward Classes), are part of our national developmental process. A compassionate and egalitarian society that does not discriminate on gender or religious background,” Kovind explained.
The President said that a strong partnership between citizens and the government will enable the country to meet the goals of New India. Kovind further said that people have to come together to build a compassionate society that equips young people by promoting accessible, affordable and world-class educational institutions.
“A compassionate society where populations in our frontier areas and states, who may sometimes feel a sense of alienation, are embraced as our brothers and sisters,” he added.
The President thanked people for their support during the transition to the GST regime and said that it should be a matter of pride for people that the taxes they pay are used for nation-building, to help the poor and the marginalised, to build rural and urban infrastructure, and to strengthen border defences.
Kovind said that demonetisation had boosted efforts to build an honest society.
“There is also need to adopt technology. We must use technology to empower our people and achieve the goal of poverty elimination in a single generation. Poverty and New India are simply not compatible,” Kovind said.
Appreciating the “Give It Up” campaign launched by the government, Kovind added that more than one crore families had voluntarily given up their LPG fuel subsidy on the call givven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi “so that a gas cylinder could reach the kitchen of a poorer family of fellow Indians”.
He added that a feeling of selflessness should be imbibed by the people of the country akin to that displayed by farmers, paramilitary force personnel, police and soldiers.
Drawing people’s attention to the importance of education, the President said that citizens should come together to help less-privileged children get educated. “The single most critical factor for building our nation is to equip our coming generation. We need to ensure that not one child is left behind,” he said, adding that everyone was a stakeholder in the mission to become a “fully educated” society.
“The President in his speech endorsed the message given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. The President has reiterated the ideas of the government and its policies. There is a continuity between what Modi has been saying through his speeches and what Kovind said in his maiden speech,” said Bidyut Chakraborty, professor of political science at Delhi University.