Several new initiatives have been planned during upcoming Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi on January 26 which include the launch of ‘Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman’ programme by National Cadet Corps; a grand flypast by 75 aircraft and helicopters of the Indian Air Force; cultural performances by 480 dancers selected through a nationwide Vande Bharatam dance competition; display of ten scrolls each of 75 metres prepared during the ‘Kala Kumbh’ event and installation of 10 large LED screens for a better viewing experience of spectators.
A drone show by 1,000 indigenously developed drones has been planned for ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony, along with projection mapping.
Parade Time change
The parade at Rajpath will start at 10:30 a.m., instead of the earlier timing of 10 a.m. to provide better visibility to the parade and flypast.
Special arrangements have been made keeping in view the current COVID-19 situation. The number of seats for spectators has been significantly reduced and people are being encouraged to register on the MyGov portal to witness the live celebrations online. They will also get to vote for best marching contingent and tableau in popular choice category.
Only fully vaccinated adults and one dose vaccinated children of 15 years and above will be allowed entry at the parade. Children below 15 years of age will not be permitted. All social distancing norms will be followed and wearing of mask is compulsory. No foreign contingent will be participating this year in view of the pandemic.
Special arrangements have been made to give opportunity to those segments of society which usually do not get to watch the parade. Some sections of auto-rickshaw drivers, construction workers, safai karamcharis and frontline health workers will be invited to watch the Republic Day Parade as well as the ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony.
Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman
On January 26, a nationwide flagship programme of NCC ‘Shaheedon Ko Shat Shat Naman’ will be launched to honour the supreme sacrifices of the fallen heroes in defending the nation. Next of Kin (NOK) of approximately 5,000 fallen heroes will be presented with the Plaque of Gratitude by NCC cadets all over the country, at about the same time as Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage to the country’s bravehearts at the National War Memorial in New Delhi.
The programme will continue till August 15, 2022. During the period, the NCC cadets, accompanied by NCC Officers and Permanent Instructor of State Directorates, will felicitate the NOKs of all 26,466 fallen heroes whose names were etched at the National War Memorial.
Kala Kumbh — Huge Scroll paintings to adorn Rajpath
Ten scrolls each of 75 metres in length and 15 ft in height will be displayed along the Rajpath during the parade. They were prepared during the ‘Kala Kumbh’ event jointly organised by Ministries of Defence & Culture. The scrolls were painted in two phases – at Bhubaneswar and Chandigarh – by over 600 renowned artists and young aspirants from across the country. Inspiration was drawn from the unsung heroes of the freedom struggle showcasing the rich cultural heritage of indigenous & contemporary visual art practices.
Vande Bharatam Nritya Utsav
For the first time, dancers who perform during the cultural programme at the parade have been selected through a nation-wide competition ‘Vande Bharatam’, jointly organised by Ministries of Defence and Culture. The competition that began at the district level with the participation of nearly 3,870 dancers in 323 groups progressed to state and zonal levels over a period of two months in November and December. Finally, 480 dancers were selected. They will showcase their talent during the parade at Rajpath.
Veer Gatha — Stories of Valour from school children
In another first, Ministry of Defence in collaboration with Ministry of Education organized nationwide ‘Veer Gatha’ competition to motivate school students to do projects on gallantry award winners. More than eight lakh students from around 4,800 schools across the country participated and shared their inspirational stories through essays, poems, drawings and multimedia presentations. After several rounds of evaluation, 25 were selected and declared as winners. They will receive cash prize of Rs 10,000 and witness the R-Day parade.
Static Band Performance by CAPF
Before the commencement of the parade, the contingents of Central Armed Police Forces will undertake static band performances in the seating enclosures at Rajpath.
For a better viewing experience at the parade, 10 large LED screens – five on each side of Rajpath – will be installed. Curated films combining footages of previous Republic Day Parades, short films on the Armed Forces and stories related to various events in the run-up to the RDC 2022 will be screened before the parade. Thereafter, the screens will show the live event.
Beating the Retreat Ceremony
Apart from military bands performing martial tunes, some new activities have been planned during Beating the Retreat Ceremony on January 29, 2022 at Vijay Chowk. These include a drone show and projection mapping.
A novel ‘Drone Show’ has been conceptualised, designed, produced and choreographed within the country. The ‘Make in India’ initiative has been organised by a startup ‘Botlab Dynamics’, supported by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and Department of Science & Technology. The show would be of 10 minutes duration involving around 1,000 drones fabricated through indigenous technology. Synchronised background music will also be played during the drone show.
Projection mapping show to commemorate 75 years of Independence for a duration of around 3-4 minutes would be showcased on the walls of North and South Block before the end of the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony.