Rajiv Gandhi Remembered on His 66th Birth Anniversary
The nation today fondly remembered former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 66th birth anniversary.
President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rajiv's widow and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi were among the first to pay floral tributes to the late leader at his memorial 'Veer Bhumi'.
Congress MP Rahul and his sister Priyanka along with her husband Robert Vadra were also present at the remembrance ceremony at the memorial.
Besides, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and senior Congress leaders also paid floral tributes at the memorial.
Later at a separate function, Sonia Gandhi presented motorised vehicles to 150 disabled persons. All recipients of the vehicles suffer from severe lower-limb disability.
The function was organised by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
Meanwhile, party leaders from south India, who took out a ten-day-long Rajiv Gandhi Jyothi Sadbhavna Yatra, starting from Sriperamadur in Tamil Nadu, arrived in the national capital and visited Gandhi's memorial at Veerbhoomi.
They also visited AICC headquarters along with the Jyothi, where AICC secretary Archana Dalmia received it.
About 250 Congress workers participated in the Yatra, which passed through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
All India Mahila Congress office bearers organised a free eye and dental check-up camp for women in collaboration with Rotary International and Sunderlal Jain Charitable Eye Hospital in the party headquarters.
Minister of Health in Delhi government Kiran Walia also visited the camp.
More than a thousand women, who were registered for check-up of eye and dental ailments, got free medicines and spectacles.
AIMC President Prabha Thakur sought support for passing of the women reservation bill.
"Rajiv Gandhi devoted his life for the empowerment of women and a real tribute to Rajiv ji will be the passing of the bill in Lok Sabha that provides for 33 per cent reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies," she said.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Youth Congress (JKPYC) organised a "roadshow" in Jammu city showcasing Gandhi's ideology and principles.
Over 1,500 party activists led by All India Youth Congress (AIYC) General Secretary Arminder Singh Raja marched through market places in the city with a hoarding bearing seven pillars of Rajiv Gandhi's ideology and principles before culminating at the head office of JKPCC.
JKPYC general secretary R S Pathania said the outfit will start a "talent hunt" tomorrow to fill the post of office bearers of the Youth Congress in the state.
"We will start a talent hunt in Jammu region tomorrow to fill up the posts of various office bearers in the districts and state executives of PYC," Pathania said.
The JKPCC observed Gandhi's 66th birth anniversary as 'Sadhbavana Day' in the state.
A function was held at JKPCC headquarters in Jammu where senior Congress functionaries and leaders addressed party activists.
Describing Gandhi as a visionary, the leaders appealed to the youths to follow the path shown by him and maintain peace, tolerance and religious brotherhood for strengthening secularism in the country.
Remembering Gandhi on his 66th birth anniversary, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced increase of the amount of cash award given to gram panchayats for commendable work done by them to promote renewable energy sources in the state.
"The first prize of Rs 4 lakh would now be Rs 5 lakh, second prize of Rs 3 lakh would be Rs 4 lakh and third winner would get Rs 3 lakh instead of Rs 2 lakh," Hooda said.
The Punjab and Haryana unit of Congress observed the day as Social Harmony and National Unity Day. Blood donation camps were organised across the two states by party members.
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