Punjab Agriculture Minister Tota Singh today called upon the people to take a solemn pledge on this historic day to make Punjab a vibrant and progressive state in the country, free from the maladies of unemployment, poverty and illiteracy besides the curse of drugs, to cherish the aspirations of our countless patriots and freedom fighters who made supreme sacrifices to free our motherland from the yoke of British imperialism.Addressing the gathering after unfurling the National Flag at the 69th Independence Day function here at Guru Nanak Dev Stadium, Mr Tota Singh said that on this auspicious day, India became a sovereign and democratic nation after emancipation from the clutches of British rule adding that every year this august day was celebrated with great enthusiasm and gaiety.
Recalling the unparalleled and unique sacrifices made by Punjabis in the national freedom struggle, he mentioned that 80% sacrifices had been made by Punjabis alone at the altar of their motherland despite the fact they merely constituted two percent of country’s population. He said that the rich legacy of unprecedented sacrifices made by martyrs would ever act as a light house to guide the destiny of our future generations.Agriculture Minister Mr Tota Singh further said that it was a well known fact that the hard working and resilient farmers of the state had played a crucial role in making the country self reliant in the food production. He said that the hard working farmers of Punjab had exploited the only available natural resources of the state in terms of fertile soil and water to feed the nation, a tradition which has been successfully carried from 1960s till now. He said that despite of the vagaries of weather the contribution of the state in national food pool has always been on the top.
Earlier, the Agriculture Minister, accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Mr Rajat Agarwal and DCP Mr. Narinder Bhargava inspected the parade led by Parade Commander ACP Mr. Jaskirat Singh and took a salute during an impressive march past by the contingents of Punjab Police, Traffic Police, NCC Cadets, Girls Scouts and Guides, NCC Air Wing besides the Punjab Police band. A colourful variety program including Bhangra, Giddha and group dance presented by the students of various local schools regaled the audience.On the occasion, the Agriculture Minister honoured the freedom fighters and their next of kin, in recognition to their enormous contribution in the country’s freedom struggle, with a shawl. During the function, the Agriculture Minister also honoured 32 eminent personalities from different walks of life for making outstanding contribution in different fields. Five tricycles and five sewing machines were also distributed amongst physically challenged and widows respectively. Bicycles were also distributed to 30 girls under the Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme.Chief Guest Mr Tota Singh announced a cash prize of Rs 25,000 each for the schools which participated in different events on the occasion. He also announced that August 17 will be a holiday for all those schools which participated in the Independence Day celebrations, here.
The function was enthusiastically attended by the senior officers of district civil and police administration besides prominent personalities from different walks of the life.Prominent among those present on the occasion included Punjab Health Systems Corporation Mr Barjinder Singh Makhan Brar, Mr Balwinder Singh Moga, Mr Tota Singh's wife Mrs Mukhtiar Kaur, Punjab State Planning Board vice chairman Mr Rajinder Bhandari, District and Sessions Judge Mr Karamjit Singh Kang, Mayor Mr Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Police Commissioner Mr Paramraj Singh Umranangal, MC Commissioner Mr GK Singh Dhaliwal, ADC Mr Kuldeep Singh Vaid, besides several others.