News Desk: Independence Day is celebrated every year with great fervor and enthusiasm. However, this year due to the prevalence of COVD-19, it is imperative to follow certain preventive measures maintaining the health protocols issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare while celebrating Independence Day in a manner befitting the occasion.
Therefore, keeping the precautionary steps in view, certain guidelines are to be strictly adhered to in the celebration of Independence Day, 2020 at the State level / District level / Sub-Divisional level.
The guidelines which have the approval of the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Assam are as follows:
(I) A ceremony in the morning (after 9.00 AM) shall be held at the state capital for the unfurling of the National Flag by the Chief Minister. The National anthem shall be played. It shall be followed by a speech by the Chief Minister.
(II)There shall be a presentation of Guard of Honour and March-past by the police including Assam police, Para-Military Forces & Home Guards.
(III)The Participation of School & College Students, National Cadet Corps, Scouts &Guides in the ceremonial march-past shall not be allowed.
(IV)In view of the COVID -19 pandemic, a large congregation in the ceremony is to be avoided. Invitation for the Celebration shall be limited keeping in mind the health protocols issued in relation to the prevalence of COVID-19. The invitation shall not exceed one-third of the seating capacity of the venue.
(V)It would also be appropriate that COVID-19 warriors like doctors, health workers, sanitation workers, etc are invited in the ceremony as recognition of their noble service in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. Some persons cured of COVID-19 pandemic infection may also be invited.
(VI)It is imperative that all health protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are adhered to. Social distancing norms and the wearing of masks shall be strictly followed.
(VII)Cultural programmes or Sports event shall not be organized as a part of the Official Celebration nor as an exclusive event.
(VIII)Award Ceremony shall not be conducted as a part of the programme. However, the names of the awardees may be announced at the official function. The awards shall be handed over to the awardees at their respective homes by a representative of the Deputy Commissioner.
(IX)The entire field area requisitioned for the Celebration shall be measured and put under tight security cordon.
(X)The arrangement for sitting at the venue shall strictly be in conformity with the Health Protocols and norms of Social Distancing issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
(XI)Lunch, high-tea, or any similar programme shall not be arranged as a part of the celebration or as a separate event to avoid public gathering.
(XII)The entire area earmarked for the programme shall be properly sanitized in strict maintenance of health protocols. The dias, rostrum, flag-pole, chairs, and other equipment shall also be sanitized in a proper manner before the commencement of the programme.
(XIII)Entry points shall be manned by health officials along with security personnel. No entry shall be permitted without being thermally scanned for any symptom of COVID-19. Proper facilities for hand-washing with hand-wash and alcohol-based hand sanitizers shall be installed at the entrance as well at other places of public use.
(XIV)Laborers and other workers shall be tested for COVID-19 prior to their engagement in the preparation of the celebration. Only those with a negative report for COVID-19 shall be engaged.
(XV)Supervising officials and security personnel to be engaged in the preparation of the event shall also be tested for COVID-19 prior to their official engagement.
(XVI)The entire Parade contingents as well as the Parade band for the March-past shall be tested for COVID-19 before their participation.
(XVII)Norms of social distancing shall be maintained at the points of entry and exit. The entry and exit shall be arranged in such a way as to avoid the clustering of people.
(XVIII)In compliance with the health advisory issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, pregnant women, persons with co-morbidities, and children below the age of 10 shall not be encouraged to attend the official function.
(XIX)Performance of police /military bands may be recorded at places of historic importance associated with Independence movement and recorded versions thereof may be displayed through large screens/digital media, during public functions and on social media.
(XX)Other functions of the day may include activities like planting of trees; inter-school/inter-college debates on digital platforms; online quiz contests/patriotic essay writing and poetry competition; launching of any important scheme, singing patriotic songs/delivering patriotic talks by selected boys/girls on the social media; illumination of government buildings/State Bhawans, etc.; thematic webinars; online campaign by NSS and NYKS centered around patriotic themes. Other innovative ways of celebrating Independence Day may be considered like propagating patriotic or national integration messages/songs through digital and social media platforms, sound shows/lighting of important public buildings, waving of National Flags by people at rooftops/balconies, etc.
(XXI)It would be appropriate that the theme of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” is suitably spread and published amongst the masses through various activities/messages in the functions and social media during the Independence Day celebration.
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