Republic Day celebrations in India were unique this year in many ways; one of the highlights was eco-friendly plantable seed paper invitations for guests. In a media report, one main goal of the cards was to encourage people to reduce environmental pollution and choose eco-friendly lifestyles in their personal lives. The cards were made of seeds of medicinal plants and were sent to all invitees as part of 73rd Republic Day’s green initiative by the center. The seeds came from a variety of plants, including Ashwagandha, Aloe Vera, and Amla.
A note on the bottom of the card reads, ‘Sow this card to grow an Amla plant’. The guests can tear the invitations into pieces after reading them, and the pieces can be planted in the soil, moistened, and then waited for the seeds to grow into a plant. The 73rd Republic Day was celebrated across the country, although scaled down due to several restraints imposed by different states to contain the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
- The Prime Minister donned a traditional cap from Uttarakhand with the image of the Brahma Kamal, the state flower, as well as a stole from Manipur for Republic Day this year.
- In light of Covid-19, there was no foreign chief guest at the parade for the second straight year. Swachhagrah workers, auto-rickshaw drivers, construction workers, and laborers who crafted the magnificent tableaus were among the special guests at the parade this year.
- During the parade, a team of BSF women daredevils performed gravity-defying motorcycle stunts on Rajpath that sent adrenaline rushing. Spectators applauded and appreciated the ‘Seema Bhawani’ motorcycle team.
- In the aerial display, 75 aircraft took part in the majestic flypast, highlighting India’s military might and showcasing the vibrant cultural heritage of the nation to mark the ‘Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav’ celebrations on Rajpath. Additionally, viewers were able to view the cockpits of the aircraft on screens at the parade venue as well as during the broadcast.
- The parade ended on an emotional note when Virat, the President’s Bodyguard Commandant’s black horse, retired from his years of service after the parade. Following the parade, Prime Minister Modi, Defence Minister Singh, and President Kovind patted and bid farewell to the majestic horse.