President Patil appeals to Indians to cooperate on draught, swine flu

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New Delhi, Aug 14(ANI): In her address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day, President Pratibha Patil on Friday urged the nation to be prepared to face any situation arising out of poor monsoon and asked fellow citizens to cooperate with the Government in handling the swine flu pandemic.

"This year the monsoon has been less than normal impacting agriculture and availability of water. We have to be prepared to face the situation. The Government is taking all possible steps to deal with it," Patil said in her address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day

Following reports of 23 deaths in the country due to the deadly H1N1 virus, Patil said that the Government is taking all necessary measures to tackle the virus, and every citizen would have to join hands with the Government to eradicate the deadly disease.

"It is also taking necessary measures to handle the H1N1 influenza. Citizens have to come forward to contribute to Government's efforts in these areas and in other development initiatives through public-private partnerships, NGOs, community groups or Self Help Groups," she added.

Patil further said that every citizen in the country must be aware of his civic and social responsibilities, so, he should be able to decide on what is good for the individual and what might be harmful to the society.

"An enlightened citizenry conscious of its civic duties and social responsibilities, maintaining discipline, following good habits particularly about hygiene and cleanliness, respectful towards nature's bounty and sensitive to environmental concerns is the greatest asset of a nation," Patil said.

President Patil Patil also spoke of the 15th General Elections, which were held earlier this year.

"Spread over five phases, the effort was to reach out to every voter, even in the remotest parts of the country. That is why even where there was only one voter, arrangements were made for the casting of that one vote. The voice of every citizen is important and the principle of inclusiveness integral to democracy," Patil said.

"In accordance with the mandate, the new Government assumed office. The electoral exercise re-affirmed the strong faith of the people, across the country, in democracy. It once again proved that the world's largest democracy is, indeed, a mature democracy. We can be proud that we have carried forward the torch of democracy in a manner that today the concept of democracy and India are inseparable," she added.

Patil also said that each citizen is of utmost importance to the governing body of the country. She said: "If we can work to ensure that each citizen gets an opportunity to be heard while choosing representatives to Parliament and the Assemblies, it also becomes our bounden duty to ensure that they are heard even in the period between elections."

Patil also highlighted the significance of every member of the Parliament, saying that: "Each elected Member of Parliament represents on an average the voice of over a 1.3 million electorate - larger than the population of some nations, and this imposes a huge responsibility to represent the aspirations of those who have elected them. They have a clear obligation to work for the welfare of the people and the progress of the nation." (ANI)

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