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Raksha Mantri Leads ‘Run for Unity’ on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s 148th Birth Anniversary

Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh, presided over the ‘Run for Unity’ event organized by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, to commemorate the 148th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Iron Man of India. On October 31, 2023, this 1.5 km run, which saw participation from thousands, commenced at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Pratima, Hazratganj, and concluded at KD Singh Babu Stadium. The event drew school children, NCC cadets, sportspersons, running enthusiasts, and HAL personnel.

During the event, Shri Rajnath Singh paid his respects at the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and led those in attendance in the ‘National Unity Day’ pledge. In his address, he emphasized that National Unity Day serves as a reminder of the individuals who played vital roles in India’s independence and the nation-building process. He encouraged everyone to dedicate themselves to the unity of the nation and strive to build an ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ (One India, Great India).

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh acknowledged Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s immense contribution to nation-building post-independence. He praised Patel’s vision and diplomatic skills, which were instrumental in the integration of princely states into the Republic of India. Shri Rajnath Singh also highlighted Patel’s role in establishing the Indian Civil Services, often referred to as the “steel frame” of the nation.

He noted, “Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s efforts ensured the unity and integrity of India. His role was not given due credit until our government came to power in 2014 and decided to celebrate his birth anniversary as National Unity Day.”

Regarding Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s ‘Mera Yuva Bharat Abhiyan’ initiative launched on this occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh emphasized the significance of youth participation in nation-building efforts. He urged people to engage with this program and work towards national unity and integration.

Shri Rajnath Singh also praised the Prime Minister’s initiative in erecting the ‘Statue of Unity,’ the world’s largest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, in Kevadia, Gujarat. He underlined Patel’s symbolism of Indian unity and expressed that the youth could find inspiration in his message of national integration.

The event witnessed the presence of several dignitaries, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers Shri Keshav Prasad Maurya and Shri Brajesh Pathak, Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State from the Uttar Pradesh government, HAL Chairman & Managing Director Shri CB Ananthkrishnan, as well as other officials from HAL, Central and state governments.

Throughout the country, various departments under the Ministry of Defence, including the Department of Defence Production, Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Border Roads Organisation (BRO), Indian Coast Guard (ICG), NCC, Directorate General Defence Estates, and all three Services, organized ‘Run for Unity’ events and administered the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ pledge at over 160 locations as part of the National Unity Day celebrations.

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