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Just 9 Delhi schools apply to participate in 2021 Republic Day parade

The Delhi government had on September 28 invited schools to send their entries for participation in Republic Day 2021 celebration at Rajpath.
By Fareeha Iftikhar | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2020 09:21 AM IST

Just nine Delhi schools have applied to participate in the 2021 Republic Day celebrations -- down from 78 last year -- in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, officials said.

Every year thousands of school students from across the country participate in the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath. The Delhi government had on September 28 invited schools to send their entries for participation in Republic Day 2021 celebration at Rajpath. The schools were asked to take No-Objection Certificates (NoC) from the parents of willing students.

The Directorate of Education (DoE) on Friday issued the list of four schools shortlisted to participate in the first round of selection process to be held on December 1 at Chhatrasal Stadium. The shortlisted schools include, government girls’ senior secondary school (GGSSS) in Yamuna Vihar, Mount Abu Public in School, Vidya Bharti School, both in Rohini, and Delhi Tamil Association at Lodhi State.

Dharmender Singh, deputy director of education (sports), DoE, said, “Only nine city schools had volunteered to participate in the 2021 Republic Day parade. Of them, four schools have been shortlisted for the further selection process. The number of schools showing interest in participating in the selection process has significantly reduced due to the prevailing situation. As many as 78 city schools had applied last year,” he said.

Responding to a query about the central government issuing guidelines for students participating in the Republic Day celebrations, Singh said, “We have been asked to inform schools to get parents consent for participation. All existing Covid-19 protocols, including use of masks and sanitisers, and social distancing will be followed during the practice sessions as well as on selection days. The number of students per group has also been reduced.”

Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu School, one of the shortlisted schools, said the number of students in each group reduced to 70 this year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Earlier we used to have over 150-170 students in a group. Parents of students who are interested in participating in the cultural event at Rajpath have also given their written consent to us. We have started preparing these students at schools taking all precautions,” she said.

A senior government official said, “We are yet to receive detailed communication from the central government on Republic Day celebration 2021. It’s expected that not many parents will be comfortable in allowing their kids to participate due to the prevailing situation.”

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