Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called upon people of the state to take a solemn pledge and make Punjab a vibrant and progressive state in the country, free from the maladies of unemployment, poverty and illiteracy.
Addressing a gathering after unfurling the national flag to mark 68th Independence Day at Yadwindra School Ground here, the Chief Minister recalled the sacrifices made by Punjabis in the national freedom struggle.
The Chief Minister said that the rich legacy of unprecedented sacrifices made by martyrs of the state would ever act as a light house to guide the destiny of our future generations.
Reiterating the firm commitment of state government to perpetuate the rich legacy of Punjabis in the national freedom struggle, the Chief Minister said that the state government was constructing a world class 'Jang-e-Azaadi' memorial near Jalandhar at a cost of Rs 200 crore to show case their contribution.
Badal said that state-of-the-art War Heroes' Memorial cum Museum was being constructed at Amritsar over seven acres of land on the Amritsar-Attari Road, to recognise and showcase the supreme sacrifices made by the soldiers from the state while serving in the Armed forces, thereby upholding their supreme gallantry values.
On the solemn occasion, the Chief Minister exhorted the people to rededicate themselves to make Punjab an ideal state, which was free from the social maladies like poverty, illiteracy, corruption and others besides renewing the pledge to eradicate the menace of drugs from the state.
Badal said that the state government was continuing its battle against social evils and demonstrated a firm commitment to make Punjab a healthy and drug free state, adding that this was making encouraging progress with total support and cooperation of residents of the state.
He said that a progressive, healthy and drug free Punjab would certainly be an outcome of people's active participation coupled with their unflinching trust in the state administration.
Complimenting the people of the state for maintaining peace and communal harmony despite its geographical boundaries in close proximity with Indo-Pak border on one side and Jammu and Kashmir on the other where, he said that Punjab was the most peaceful state in the country where the peace loving people always strongly believed in the ethos of brotherhood, amity and national integration.
Earlier, the Chief Minister, accompanied by DGP Sumedh Saini and Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam, inspected the parade and took a salute during a march past by the contingents of ITBP, Punjab Armed Police, Punjab Home Guards, NCC Cadets besides the Punjab Police band.
A colorful variety program including Bhangra, Gidha and group dance presented by the students of various local schools and colleges regaled the audience.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister honored the freedom fighters and their next of kin, in recognition to their enormous contribution in the country's freedom struggle, with a shawl.
During the function, the Chief Minister also honored 16 eminent personalities from different walks of life for making outstanding contribution in different fields with a citation, medal and cash award of Rs 11,000.