Port Blair, Oct. 31: Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was celebrated on Oct 31 to commemorate the 146th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Popularly known as the 'Iron Man of India', Sardar Patel is known to have played a crucial role in the unification of India. The day provides an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity of our country.

To commemorate the day and continuing with the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Andaman and Nicobar Command organised Unity Runs at Port Blair, Carnicobar and a Cycling Expedition at Port Blair on 31 Oct 2021.The events were organised to spread the message of integration amongst all inhabitants of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The Unity Marathon was a true example of Jointmanship which witnessed an overwhelming participation of all ranks, ladies and children from all Components of Andaman and Nicobar Command. The participants wore their hearts on their sleeves and came forward burning the roads on beautiful Sunday morning. The zeal and gutso displayed by participants was a joy to watch as they were flagged off by Havildar Jagdish Singh, an Olympian and has represented India in Snow Skiing Discipline at various International events.

Similarly, a Freedom Run was organised at Air Force Station Carnicobar to honour the sacrifices of our freedom fighters and to promote unity and national spirit among the citizens. The level of response received from the public was unprecedented, wherein defence personnel of the station, local police and civil administration along with tribal population of the island including women and children across all ages participated. The ‘Freedom Run’ was flagged off from Malacca Gate of Air Force Station Caricobar. All the participants were provided with refreshments on culmination of the run. Station Commander, Group Captain Nitin Talwar after felicitating the winners and appreciating all participants for their josh and enthusiasm, delivered a motivational speech.

A cycling expedition was also organised on this solemn occasion. A large number of cyclists from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard participated enthusiastically. The expedition aimed at spreading the message of integration amongst all the citizens of Port Blair. The Cycling Expedition started from Air Force unit at Bathu Basti towards Cellular Jail, as a mark of respect for our freedom fighters and the struggle for the independence of India. The cycling team then moved towards Marine Drive to spread awareness of the day and rejuvenate the feeling of unity amongst all. The cycling team concluded their expedition at Bathu Basti.

The events evoked patriotic fervour and spirit of unity across the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.