KOCHI: The 68th Independence Day celebrations came alive in and around the city on Friday, with a string of traditional festivities manifesting national pride and commemorating the Indian freedom struggle.
At the Collectorate Parade Ground, Kakkanad, PWD Minister V K Ibrahim Kunju hoisted the national flag and received salute at the march-past of the police, NCC cadets and the 13 armed units based in the district.
“The country can benefit from the Independence it enjoys only when development reaches the common man,” the Minister said.
He said that the time had come for the citizens to pledge their commitment to eradicate communal, militant and ani-national forces from the country. w Later, the Minister inspected the parade, along with parade commander P K Harilal. He also gave away the police medals and the Collector’s Civil Awards which were announced on the Republic Day.
District collector M G Rajamanickam, City Police Commissioner K G James, Additional District Magistrate B Ramachandran and Assistant Collector Mrunmayee Joshi were present at the function. The parade at Kakkanad was rather more colourful this time, with floats demonstrating messages of various departments. The State Police’s float to create awareness on saving people who meet with accidents bagged the first prize. The Labour Department’s float to create awareness on child labour, and the District Medical Office’s blown-up mosquito model - as part its health awareness programme - bagged the second and the third prizes, respectively. In the armed forces category, the District Armed Reserve Police and the navy wing of the NCC-Senior Division came first. In the other categories, junior girls’ NCC-1 Kerala battalion, boys’ rural platoon-1 and Kochi city girls’ platoon-3 emerged first.
At the Cochin Port Trust, chairman Paul Antony raised the national flag on the lawns of the administrative building, and inspected the parade by a CISF contingent. Employees and their families were present.