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President Ram Nath Kovind in his maiden Independence Day eve address shares vision of new India
On the eve of 71st Independence Day, President Ram Nath Kovind, in his maiden address to the nation, recalled the contributions of various freedom fighters and leaders, and urged citizens to forge partnership with the government to create a new India with gender equality and religious harmony.

He said that by 2022, India should create a compassionate society with an 'integral humanist component that is in our DNA and which has defined our country and our civilisation'. India must become compassionate and progressive society to set a global example.

He appreciated the on-going initiatives and actions of the present government such as Swach Bharat Mission, demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax. He asked people to contribute towards the success of these initiatives.

Extending best wishes to people on the eve of our 71st Independence Day, the President, at the end his address reminded that two thousand five hundred years ago Gautam Buddha had urged 'Be a lamp unto yourself' and we needed to follow his teachings by acting together with the passion of our freedom movement. "We can collectively be the 125 crore lamps that light up the path to a New India," concluded Kovind.

Here are some excerpts from his released address:

-The spirit of empathy and of social service and volunteerism is very much alive in India. There are so many people and organisations that work quietly and diligently for the poor and the disadvantaged.

-We should also work with unity and purpose to ensure that the benefits of government policies reach all sections of society. For this, the partnership between citizens and government remains essential.

-A compassionate society that enriches our human capital and equips our young people by promoting accessible, affordable and world-class educational institutions, where quality health-care and nutrition are not a challenge.

-It is natural for us to think of our families, but we must also think of society. We must heed the call for that extra degree of selflessness, that extra something beyond just duty. A mother who nurtures and brings up her child is not just doing a duty. She is displaying a unique selflessness.

-Each of us must find a way to give back to society. Each of us must choose one thing we can do to help another, less-fortunate India.

-Our India is at the door of great achievements. In a few years, we will become a fully literate society. We must set the bar higher, and aim to become a fully educated society.

-We are all stake-holders in this (new India) mission. If we achieve it, our country will change before our eyes. And we will become agents of this defining change.

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