New Delhi, 06 April 2021: The Vice President, Sh M. Venkaiah Naidu  graced the colourful closing ceremony of the 25-day long commemorative Dandi Padyatra as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav near National Salt Satyagraha Memorial , Dandi, Gujarat today. The function was organised by the Ministry of Culture and State government of Gujarat. Shri Acharya Devvrat, Governor of Gujarat; Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Culture; Shri Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat; Shri Prem Singh Tamang, Chief Minister of Sikkim; Shri Nitin Patel, Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat; Shri C R Patil, Member of Parliament; Shri I.V. Subbarao, Secretary to the Vice President; Shri Sudharshan Iyengar, Trustee, Sabarmati Ashram Trust and others were present at the event.

Addressing on the occasion, the Vice President said that Gandhi’s iconic Dandi Salt March was a watershed moment in our freedom struggle. Shri Naidu said that it altered the course of history. “The Dandi March we are symbolically revisiting today signifies our nation’s ability to stay united when we are faced with challenges”, he said

The Vice President asked everyone to take inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi who always used polite and respectful language even for his opponents. “Gandhi Ji’s principle of non-violence was not limited to physical violence alone, rather it encapsulated non-violence in words and thoughts too”, he said.

“Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”—a 75 week festival to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence, was flagged off by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi from Sabarmati Ashram, on March 12, 2021. The festival celebrates the rapid strides India has taken in the past 75 years. The Vice President said that it is a festival that encourages us to rediscover our hidden strengths and prompts us to take sincere, synergistic action to regain our rightful place in the comity of nations.

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Addressing on the occasion, the Minister of State(IC), for Culture and Tourism Sh. Prahlad Singh Patel said that 91 years ago, Mahatma Gandhi started this journey for the awakening of self-reliance and self-respect of the country, and now 91 years later, the symbolic Dandi Yatra which started on 12th March marks the revival of our journey of self-reliance and self-respect. However, this journey does not end here, it is the beginning of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

The Minister also said that the purpose of repeating this historic journey is to tell the younger generation about how our generation achieved independence. He expressed his gratitude to the 7 ministers, 11 MLAs and 121 people who undertook this journey with him. Shri Patel further said that it is the responsibility of every citizen to make it a Jan Mahotsav through mass participation in Amrit Mahotsav. I think this is the real way to celebrate the festival of 75 years of independence of the country, the Minister added.

Sh Prahlad Singh Patel further said that India is moving from strength to strength on the global platformtoday which is exemplified by the corona vaccine which we have provided to the world. Expressing pride, he said that  very soon our nation will lead the world as Vishwa Guru.

Earlier in the day, the Vice Presidentpaid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the Prarthna Mandir and interacted with the marchers who participated in the ceremonial Dandi March. He also visited Saifee Villa where Gandhiji had spent a night of 4 April 1930. After this, Shri Naidu visited National Salt Satyagraha Memorial– a monument that honours the activists and participants of the Salt Satyagraha.

During the program, the Vice President also released the Special Envelopes on Geographical Indication (GI TAG) Products of Gujarat State Handicrafts Development Corporation. He also witnessed the mesmerising cultural performance by the folk artists from Sikkim, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat.