In commemoration of the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel in keeping with his lofty mission of national integration and service towards the cause of the nation, Indian Railways observed Rashtriya Ekta Diwas with all Zonal railways marking special events on the occasion today. Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal paid floral tributes to Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel on the occasion andadministered the pledge of integrity to the officers & staff of Indian Railways. He also launched the commemorative programs on Rashtriya Ekta Diwas across Indian Railways this morning at New Delhi. On the occasion, Shri Goyal led the commemorative Run for Unity, which commenced from the precincts of Saloon Siding of New Delhi Station. Minister of State of Railways, Shri Suresh C. Angadi, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Board Membersand Senior Railway Officers also participated in the run. Members of Voluntary organizations viz. Northern Railway Bharatiya Scouts and Guides Association, Railway Protection Force also enthusiastically participated in the run carrying placards on the theme of national unity. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the country will always be grateful to Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel who is known as “Iron Man” for his immense contribution towards the integration of the country. He added that it would not have been possible to imagine the map of the country, if Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel had not taken the initiative to integrate the princely states. It would also have been difficult for the Indian Railways to cater to the country with several princely states as permits would have been required.Indian Railways is indebted to Sardar Patel for integrating the Nation. Sardar Patel laid the foundation of the ‘Cooperative Movement’ in the country which has benefitted thousands of farmers directly. On the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, he saidthat we should proliferate the ideology and the thoughts of the Sardar Patel further to keep our country united, safe and developed. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Suresh C. Angadi said that Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel epitomized the strength of self-discipline and sense of purpose. He played an important role in integration of the country. We are indebted to Sardar Patel for his contribution to the Nation. Similar, “Run for Unity” programs was held by the General Managers of Zonal Railways at their respective headquarters offices and at stations. Prabhat pheries/NukkadNataks were organized at Zonal Railway Hqrs to create awareness about the crucial role of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. Integrity pledge was administered to the Railway staff in all Zonal Railways offices and stations. Video spot on Sardar Patel was run across major stations and zonal offices to highlight and create awareness about his role in national integration.