Country marks Sardar Patels birth anniversary with Run for

Maharashtra Mumbai schools turn down state directive to reopen early to celebrate Vallabhbhai Patel's birth anniversary

To commemorate the 142nd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged off a run titled "Run for Unity" in New Delhi.

The birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, October 31, is celebrated as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day).

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, the prime minister, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh paid floral tributes to Patel on Parliament street where his statue is installed.

The three-km run witnessed the participation of 15,000 to 20,000 people including school children, elders, sports- persons, artists and politicians.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. "His momentous service and monumental contribution to India can never be forgotten", Modi said while flagging off the run. "But Sardar is Sardar, whether any government or any party recognises his contribution or not, the nation and the youth will not forget him", he said without naming any government or party.

Modi said that every Indian should make a resolve to contribute towards the welfare of society, to do something that enhances the prestige of the nation, and try to fulfil it by 2022 when India would complete 75 years of Independence.

The Prime Minister said India's teaching of unity amid diversity is relevant in the global context especially at a time when the racial fights have become the order of the day in several countries.

"It is the responsibility of 125 crore Indians to preserve the unity and integrity of the nation given to us by Sardar Patel".

Shri Singh too administered oath-taking ceremony to maintain the unity, integrity, and security of the nation at a function organized in Krishi Bhawan.

Parrikar said he got an opportunity to read about Patel when he was defence minister.

"Rajendra Babu must be happy now, wherever his soul may be, that we are remembering the contribution of Sardar Patel today even though some people tried to run down and erase his contribution".

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