Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times

Govt asks women Union ministers to tie rakhi to soldiers

While textile minister Smriti Irani is expected to visit Ladakh to celebrate Raksha Bandhan with soldiers, women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi is expected to visit Punjab

New Delhi: In a major initiative to reach out to the soldiers guarding India’s borders, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has asked all its women ministers to visit a border area on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan on 18 August, to celebrate the day with soldiers by tying rakhis.

While textile minister Smriti Irani is expected to visit Ladakh to celebrate Raksha Bandhan with soldiers, Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi is expected to visit Punjab.

“Soldiers stand on the borders and protect us. It is a good gesture if women ministers visit the border areas and spend Raksha Bandhan with these soldiers. The ministers will also tie rakhis to soldiers. The security personnel will be away from their families and it is an attempt to express our gratitude for their service," said a senior NDA minister, requesting anonymity.

The government is starting a nationwide campaign between 9 August and 23 August to celebrate 70 years of India’s Independence and 75 years of the Quit India Movement. Several ministers have been asked to visit the birth places of freedom fighters.

“It is a series of celebrations and Raksha Bandhan celebrations are part of the nationwide programmes. While the women ministers will be travelling to border areas, if any Members of Parliament (MPs) want to accompany these ministers to spend the day with soldiers, the government will make proper arrangements for them so that they don’t face any difficulty," the minister added.

Senior ministers in the government said that prominent Bollywood singers will also be part of the Independence Day celebrations being planned by the government. “We have reached out to renowned singer Asha Bhosle and Kumar Sanu to become part of the plans for Independence Day. We have also asked Bharatiya Janata Party supporters and citizens to prepare and contribute songs and slogans on Independence Day. The government and BJP will be happy to use these songs," the minister said.