“Freedom fighters, school and college students usually participate in the I-Day celebrations every year but with the coronavirus continuing to pose a threat, students and elders have been advised not to take part this year,” a government communique stated.
Even the Central government issued an advisory to all State governments on the Independence Day celebrations. Following the directive, the Tamil Nadu government, in an order, stated that social distancing would be strictly observed.
However, as there were speculations regarding the participation of freedom fighters in the districts, the government clarified that they need not participate this year and that officials have been advised to go to the houses of the fighters and extend due respect to them. Similarly, differently-abled children have also been asked not to participate. “Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has instructed Minister of Social Welfare V Saroja to distribute sweets to the disabled kids by visiting homes, but social distancing has to be maintained,” the release stated.
The only group of people to participate on Saturday are the COVID-19 frontline workers as Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is set to honour them for their service during the lockdown period. “A medal of honour and a certificate would be presented to every worker by Chief Minister,” an official said.
To avoid crowding during the I-Day celebrations, the government has urged the public to watch the live coverage on their televisions and even listen to it on the radio.