NEW DELHI: A man who ferries wood for funeral pyres, sanitation workers who have worked back-to-back shifts at Delhi’s government hospitals, police personnel, security guards, and about 20 medical professionals from doctors to nursing staff and ASHA workers involved in India’s fight against Covid will be among the special guests at President Ram Nath Kovind’s Independence Day ‘At Home’ function this August 15.
The annual guest list of over 1,500 people, a gathering of who’s who from across the country, has been pruned in light of the Covid pandemic this year. And with President Kovind deciding to recognise them for their efforts, the spotlight this year will be on India’s corona warriors.
The 26 handpicked guests, among the 90 who will be hosted by the President this year, will be part of a guest list that includes PM Narendra Modi, diplomats, top ministers in the government and captains of the media industry among others.

Sources told TOI the corona warriors were identified for their exceptional efforts and commitment to fight the pandemic. With the coronavirus mandating physical distancing, the President’s ‘At Home’ will be different in that guests will not be able to mingle freely like they used to in the years before. In the convention centre, four guests will be seated at each table, where they will be seated and served.
Sources said Kovind is likely to deliver a welcome address since he will not be able to meet guests individually.
The mandate to trim the guest list will also see diplomats from representative blocs, instead of individual countries, being invited. Apart from the Dean of Diplomatic Corps, diplomats representing the European Union, ASEAN, and BRICS, are some of the guests who will grace the Independence Day gathering at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.


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