HAILAKANDI: The district administration has decided to tone down the celebrations to mark the 74th Independence Day at the directive of the State government in view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner, Megh Nidhi Dahal convened a meeting with the officials of all the departments to review the preparedness for the event and gave inputs to the officials on conducting the celebrations while observing social distancing and wearing of masks or face cover. "Flag hoisting will be held as part of the function together with laying of wreaths at the martyrs' memorial column. The guard of honour will be performed with march past by police, home guards and security personnel. There will be no cultural programmes this time around," said Dahal. He added that doctors, health workers, sanitation workers and others involved in COVID-19 frontline duties would be honoured at the event. The Deputy Commissioner also revealed that cured symptomatic COVID-19 patients who donated plasma would also be felicitated.
The celebration will be held at the Deputy Commissioner's office complex ground in the town. The Deputy Commissioner assigned specific tasks to each department such as Police, PWD, Health, PHED, Forest, Education, Fire and Emergency Services, APDCL, HMB and DIPRO to organise the event while ensuring COVID-19 protocols. The administration will ensure that there are no more than 120 attendees at the event.
Entry points to the main venue will be manned by health and security personnel and thermal scanning will be carried out. Proper facilities for hand washing with hand wash liquid and alcohol based sanitisers will be in place at the entrances.
As there will be considerable restrictions to the main function with limited number of invitations, the administration has decided to involve the public of Hailakandi town by urging them to wave the tricolour from their balconies or premises of their houses in the evening between 5.00 to 5.15 pm with DIPRO personnel relaying patriotic songs through loud speakers.
As children and school students are barred from attending the official function due to COVID-19 protocols, the administration has made special arrangements for them. The administration has directed the Education department authorities to organise inter-school and inter-college debates on digital platforms, online quiz contest, patriotic essay writing and poetry competitions, patriotic songs competition, among others.
The Independence Day celebration usually witnesses events like honouring of freedom fighters and rewarding the best performers of the government departments, social workers, farmers, SHGs and welfare measures including financial assistance to the beneficiaries. But this time around these events have been dropped from the upcoming Independence Day function. Commendation certificate and mementoes will be handed over to the awardees at their respective homes by district administration officials.
"Large congregations in the function shall be avoided and gathering limited owing to the prevalence of COVID-19," said SDO (Sadar), Jyotirmoy Daimari. This time around there will be no distribution of fruits to jail inmates and to the patients in hospitals. The administration will provide face masks, soaps and hand sanitisers to the jail inmates.