The Modi government is planning a slew of initiatives to commemorate the birth anniversary of freedom fighter and India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31.
To be celebrated as Rashtriya Ekta Divas, the government will also organise a “Run for Unity”in towns and villages all over India on October 31 morning. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the marathon and make a short radio address on the occasion.
Modi is also set to launch the government’s ambitious Sardar Patel National Mission for Urban Housing under which the government plans to provide housing for all by 2022 on the occasion.
On Wednesday, Union information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar announced the government’s decision to celebrate October 31 as National Integration Day.
Besides University Grants Commission has also asked universities to organize events and take pledge to uphold unity and security of the nation. The institutions have also been asked to administer the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas pledge to all the students, staff and the members of the faculty. The varsities have been asked to also organise panel discussions on the contribution of Sardar Patel, debates, publicize his works and screening of documentary films on his life.
Javadekar told reporters, “The government will create awareness about the contribution of Sardar Patel during India's Independence movement and towards national integration. Awareness about Patel's contribution is very low...which is very unfortunate. Recently, I came to know that in the history book of Class X, there is mention of Sardar Patel only once.”
He added that through the Run for Unity, the government plans to spread the Iron Man’s message of good governance and national integration. Police and members of other organizations like National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Social Service (NSS), Scouts and Guides, Home Guards would perform march-past in all district headquarters for which necessary instructions have already been issued to the concerned departments.