In 82nd episode of his talk show, Mann ki baat aired in Oct 2021, our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi spoke about the National Flag manufacturing initiative being taken up in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. The young men and women of Kupwara are making flags for army and government offices. The initiative, which was carried out on the occasion of 75th Independence Day under the supervision of the Ministry of Skill development involved 240 men and women, including especially-abled people. Over 7700 flags were made which were also distributed across various districts of North Kashmir.

Kupwara is seeing the change and so are many districts of the Kashmir valley. Indian army’s relentless service in the region, be it the security and safety of the people, as well as the humanitarian initiatives, have rebuilt the trust. The Tailoring and Embroidery Institute set up in March 2021 is one example of many of the women-centric activities started by the Indian Army for their betterment. It served as the nodal center for the initiative. The initiative also involves the manufacturing of masks, and rakhis and imparting training in tailoring and embroidery along with providing financial assistance like artisan credit facilities and working capital.

Empowering women will empower our country. When women thrive, the world thrives. But the impact of the national flag manufacturing initiative is not just limited to the economic and social progress of the locals. Such initiatives also send a message of national unity and fill us with a sense of patriotism. The initiative is a testimony to the changing face of Kupwara. It gives the locals a sense of contributing their bit in the service of the nation. Jameela Bano, who works as an instructor in the Tailoring and Embroidery center, says,” the army is serving the country by wearing a uniform. At the same time, we are contributing to increase the feeling of patriotism by making the tricolor.”

The valley of Jammu and Kashmir was lit up in the colours of Tricolour to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day. Many locations like the Salal Dam in Reasi district, the Old Zero bridge in Srinagar, Baghliar Dam in Ramban district and government offices and buildings were lit up. The national flag was unfurled in 23,000 schools. For the first time since 2003, internet services were not suspended. The national flag was also hoisted in the historic Hari Parbat fort located atop the Koh-i-Maran hillock overlooking the Srinagar city. For the first time, the famous clock tower at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk was illuminated with the Indian national flag, ahead of Independence Day.

Thomas Francis Meagher, the Irish nationalist once said, “A national flag is the most sacred thing a nation can possess.” The national flag is acting as a catalyst in national integration. The Indian army is taking up several initiatives for the construction of flag posts at various locations to instill the sentiments of nationalism and patriotism. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “A national spirit is necessary for national existence. A flag is a material aid to the development of such a spirit.

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