On the eve of the Republic Day 2023, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh felicitated the 25 winners of Veer Gatha 2.0 at an event organised in New Delhi on 25 January 2023. Veer Gatha 2.0, the second edition of project Veer Gatha was organised in the backdrop of overwhelming success of Veer Gatha Edition-1 last year which was jointly initiated by the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Education as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Shri Rajnath Singh gave away the winners a cash prize of Rs 10,000, a medal and a certificate, in the presence of Minister of Education Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt. Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane were also present. Over 100 NCC cadets and students from Army Public Schools & Cantonment Boards were in attendance, with students and teachers from over 500 schools joining virtually.
Congratulating the young winners, Raksha Mantri commended their bravery, zeal and creativity, and expressed confidence that the young generation will provide a new and better direction not only to themselves but also to the society and the Nation.
Applauding the role of Veer Gatha in inspiring values of patriotism in the young students, Shri Rajnath Singh said, such projects will play a crucial role in infusing values of morality and bravery along with education among students. In the recent past, the Government has taken several steps, which will help in the all-round development of our children in the coming times, he added.
Highlighting the growing popularity of Veer Gatha, Shri Rajnath Singh said, in such a short span of time this project has gained immense popularity, and has become a movement in itself.
“Last year there were 8 lakhs participation, whereas this time the number of these entries has crossed 19 lakhs. Within a small span of time, it has been able to reach millions of children. This is how a movement occurs,” said Raksha Mantri.
Shri Rajnath Singh underscored that crores of children are indirectly connected with this project which is also the aim of this project. Connecting with the children of the country, and keep them motivated is what nation building is, he added.
“Integration is the first requirement for any construction, be it a building, a society, an organization, or a nation. Without the process of integration, nothing can be built. The project is connecting the children across the country with the long-standing heritage of Indian-ness, and is building their personality. The better we build the personality of the children, the better and stronger the nation-building will be,” said Shri Rajnath Singh.
Underlining the importance of valour in day to day life, Raksha Mantri said, “When I talk about valour and courage, I do not only mean the valour and courage at the battlefield. These virtues are absolutely necessary in day to day life. Only using arrows and swords is not courage. If there is wrong somewhere, then raising voice against it is also an act of great bravery and courage.”
Shri Rajnath Singh further added that great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Chandrashekhar Azad, Khudiram Bose, Ashfaq Ullah Khan kept on speaking the truth throughout their life, no matter what cost they had to pay for it.
Raksha Mantri also suggested that such felicitation should also be organised at state and district level as well, so that the project reaches out to more number of people.
Thanking the Ministry of Defence for conceptualizing the Veer Gatha project, Minister of Education Shri Dharmendra Pradhan emphasized that the joint efforts of the both the ministries are moving in the right direction, as it has generated immense interest amongst students of all age groups across the country.
ShriDharmendra Pradhan said the Veer Gatha project is perfectly in tune with the aims and aspirations of the National Educational Policy 2020 and has been re-emphasized by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself through Panch Prann – to take pride in our history and culture.
“More needs to be done to highlight the acts of bravery in our history textbooks where brave heroes from several regions who even laid down their lives for the motherland have been largely ignored, and forgotten,” he added.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan called for integrating the stories of gallantry award winners in the school curriculum to inspire students.
On the occasion, Param Vir Chakra Awardee Subedar Major Sanjay Kumar narrated his real-life story of the Kargil war where he overcame all odds and played a crucial role in India’s historic victory. He encouraged the children to take inspiration from the courageous soldiers who selflessly serve the motherland without caring for personal safety.