Advocating the need for inclusive growth and social equality, Punjab governor Shivraj V Patil called for a collective endeavour to move ahead and fulfil dreams of freedom fighters.
Attending a state-level Republic Day function at Yadvindra Public School on Sunday, Patil recalled the sacrifices of freedom fighters and martyrs and paid them rich tributes with an appeal to the people to emulate their high ideas for the development of the country.
He also expressed his solidarity and gratitude to jawans of the defence and para-military forces who were continually protecting the unity, integrity, sovereignty and the borders of our country.
Addressing the gathering, Patil said Punjab would continue to play a pivotal role in national reconstruction work and furthering the process of social change through dedicated endeavour.
He also lauded the immense contribution of the farmers' fraternity. Patil said it was a matter of satisfaction that Punjab farmers had been in the forefront to produce enough foodgrains and other agro food products to ensure food security for the entire nation.
He said the need of the hour was to check social evils like drugs, dowry and unethical practice of female foeticide which was posing a serious threat to the social fabric of society.
"The state being on the border required sensitive and careful handling", he said.Patil said women, children and senior citizens must be given special respect in every field.
During the occasion, Patil unfurled the national flag and took salute from an impressive march past by contingents of the police, para-military forces, National Cadet Corps (NCC), home guards and college and schoolchildren.
He also distributed tricycles among physically challenged and sewing machine among widows. As many as 22 personalities were also honoured on the occasion for their outstanding performance in various sectors.
Students from different schools and colleges presented a cultural programme on the occasion, while several public departments showcased ongoing welfare schemes through colorful tableaux.
Prominent among others who were present on the occasion included Rakesh Singh, Punjab chief secretary, Sumedh Singh Saini, director-general of police (DGP) and commissioner (Patiala division) Ajit Singh Pannu.
Fatehgarh Sahib:Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal hoisted the national flag during Republic Day celebrations at Fatehgarh Sahib.
Addressing the gathering at jam-packed Mata Gujri college stadium, Atwal said the Indian constitution had allowed Indian citizens to enjoy equal rights and freedom without any discrimination since January 26, 1950.
"The Father of Indian constitution, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, has become a source of inspiration for the other countries in uplifting the standard of living of underprivileged people ", he said.
Atwal, who was accompanied by senior police officials and leaders of different political parties, also paid homage to freedom fighters and applauded contributions of Punjabis in the freedom struggle of India.
"Though we managed to get independence on August 15,1947, but we became a republic nation following the implementation of the Indian constitution", he said.
He also remembered the bravery of Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, who were bricked alive in Fatehgarh Sahib in 1705 AD.
Atwal also threw light on the schemes launched by the Punjab government for different income groups of people and policies for the development of the state.
As many as 25 personalities were also honoured for their exemplary contribution in their respective fields.