Safeguarding infrastructure also secures hard-won freedom: President

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Cherishing and safeguarding public infrastructure is to secure another aspect of hard-won freedom, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Wednesday and noted that stopping a person from throwing stone at the public property is "not just a matter of obeying laws, it is of answering to an inner conscience".

Addressing the nation on the eve of 73rd Independence Day, Kovind said the government can build infrastructure but what is more crucial is for society and for citizens to use and nurture it.

He said the government can build financial infrastructure such as an inclusive banking system, online-friendly tax system and easier access to capital, physical infrastructure such as housing, availability of energy, toilets and water, connectivity, airports, universal data access, and healthcare.

"However, what is more crucial is for society and for citizens to use and nurture this infrastructure - for the benefit of themselves and their families, and for the benefit of society and us all," he said.

Kovind said rural roads and better connectivity have meaning only if farmers use them to reach bigger markets and get better prices for their produce.

"Fiscal reforms and easier regulations for business have meaning only if our entrepreneurs, whether small start-ups or big industrialists, use these to build honest and imaginative enterprises and create sustainable jobs. Universal availability of toilets and household water have meaning only if they empower the women of India," he said.

He said safeguarding infrastructure was not just a matter of obeying laws, it is of answering to an inner conscience.

"To cherish and safeguard such infrastructure - infrastructure that belongs to each one of us, the people of India - is to secure another aspect of our hard-won freedom. Civic-minded Indians respect and take ownership of such facilities and such infrastructure.

"And when they do so, they display the same spirit and resolve as the valiant men and women who serve in our Armed Forces and paramilitary and police forces. Whether you guard our nation at the frontiers or check that hand before it throws a stone at a passing train or any other public property - just like that, for the sake of it, or perhaps in anger- in some measure you protect a shared treasure. This is not just a matter of obeying laws; it is of answering to an inner conscience," he said.

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