In a unique way to honour all “corona warriors” engaged in the battle against the pandemic, fighter jets will stream across the skies from Srinagar to Thiruvananthapuram and Dibrugarh (Assam) to Kutch (Gujarat) in thrilling fly past, while helicopters will shower petals on some hospitals. Army bands will enthrall citizens in almost all districts of the country. All these activities marking show of solidarity with the frontline “warriors” will take place on May 3.
As part of these nationwide thanksgiving gestures, the Navy will also deploy its warships at shores at various coastal towns and light them up on Sunday evening. Navy’s helicopters will shower flower petals on some hospitals treating corona-affected people, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat said here on Friday.
The three Services chiefs, including General MM Naravane, Air Chief Marshal RK Bhadauria and Admiral Karambir Singh, were also present on the occasion.
Rawat also said on behalf of the armed forces, “We want to thank” all Covid-19 warriors like doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police, home guards, delivery boys and media which has been reaching out with the message of Government on “how to carry on with lives in difficult times.”
“We (wish to) convey our gratitude to each and every corona warrior and all the citizens of our nation. On May 3 there will be some special activities as a gesture of special gratitude by all three forces,” Rawat said.
“The nation stood together, it showed resilience to overcome this crisis. In our country, everybody understands that when it comes to the nation we have to stand together,” he added.
Highlighting the crucial role played by the police, he said the armed forces will also lay a wreath here at the National Police Memorial on May 3 as a mark of support of the police forces.
Incidentally, this plan of action for expressing gratitude to the “corona warriors” was discussed earlier in the day in a high-level meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval besides the CDS and three chiefs.
The IAF chief said his service, so far, had not reported even a single case of Covid-19 but added “we will not lower guard and have enforced all precautions.” The Army chief said at least 14 cases of corona virus occurred in the force and five of them have been cured and now on active duty. Rawat last week had said “discipline and patience” had helped the defence forces in checking the spread of the Covid-19 virus within its ranks, noting that the coronavirus had affected the Army, Air Force and Navy in a “limited manner.”
Meanwhile, after contributing one day salary of all employees of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to the PM CARES fund to fight Covid-19 pandemic, a proposal has been moved to contribute one day’s salary every month of this financial year to the fund, defence sources said.
The proposal is to deduct one day’s salary every month this financial year and deposit it in PM CARES fund. The circular on this will be issued in a day or two. This will be purely on voluntary basis, they added.
The Defence Minister in March end had approved a proposal for the contribution of one day salary by the employees of the MoD to the PM-CARES fund. The Ministry had then stated that “around 500 crore will be collectively provided by the MoD” from various wings — the three Services, Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU) and others. The employees’ contribution is voluntary and those desirous of opting out will be exempted, it had stated. In addition, the DPSU’s and Ordnance Factory Board made a contribution to the fund from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds.
Saturday, 02 May 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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