COVID-19 effect: No motorcycle stunts at Republic Day parade
(Sourced from PTI)
Due to COVID-19 safety norms, gravity-defying stunts by motorcycle-borne men will be missing at the Republic Day celebrations on the Rajpath this year, while the spectator size too has been reduced to 25,000, officials said on Friday. Besides this, the parade of gallantry awardees and children who have earned bravery awards will also be absent on account of social distancing.
A senior official said, "These decisions have been taken because it is not possible to maintain social distancing while performing group stunts or awardees riding a jeep together during the parade." To recall, there will be no Chief Guest at the event this year.
The official said, "This year's Republic Day is very different as it is happening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Like on Independence Day, all chairs in enclosures will be placed following social distancing norms. So the crowd size has come down to 25,000 this time from around 1.25 lakh last year." "The number of enclosures has also been halved to just 19," he added.
The number of media persons invited to the ceremonial event has also been reduced. "A total of 32 tableaux - 17 of various states and UTs, nine of ministries, and six from defense arm - will roll down the Rajpath. The contingents will stop at National Stadium this year instead of following the regular route to the Red Fort," the officials said.
The official further informed that the size of marching contingents has been reduced from the regular 144 to 96 so that they can maintain social distancing. COVID-19 safety norms will be strictly in place throughout the event.
The officials said, "Members of the tableau contingents from various states, ministries and government departments underwent COVID-19 test at a cultural camp in Delhi Cantonment on Friday." Tableaux from a total of 17 states and UTs, including, Gujarat, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Ladakh, and Delhi will be part of the parade.
The Gujarat contingent will be led by Pankaj Modi, who is the Deputy Director in the Gujarat Government's Information Department and also the younger brother of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Meanwhile, the Union Territory of Ladakh is all set to make its debut in the extravaganza on Rajpath with a beautiful tableau depicting the iconic Thikse Monastery and its rich cultural heritage.
Further, the heritage of Ayodhya, a replica of the Ram temple being built in the city, a glimpse of Deepotsav, and various stories from the Ramayana epic will be showcased in the tableau of Uttar Pradesh.
Delhi tableau will depict the pedestrianization work carried out under the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation project. "There'll be nine tableaux from ministries, including Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Electronics and IT, Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; and six from defense arm, including of IAF, Navy, Indian Naval Coast Guard, two from DRDO and one from BRO (Border Roads Organisation)," the official said.
The tableau of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will showcase the efforts made by scientists to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine indigenously. "The tableau would depict various stages of pre-trial and trial phases of vaccine," a scientist from the DBT said. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will depict the Vocal for Local initiative of the government.
The tableau of the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), under the department of empowerment of persons with disabilities of the ministry of social justice and empowerment, will showcase the unifying nature of the sign language.