Work harder to redeem promises made to the people: President Mukherjee

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday called for working harder to realise the dreams of fighting poverty and terrorism and to redeem the promises made to the people.

“In a fiercely competitive world, we have to work harder than ever to redeem the promises that we make to our people,” said Mukherjee addressing the nation on the eve of India’s 68th Republic Day.

“We have to work harder to keep at bay the dark forces of terrorism. These forces have to be dealt with firmly and decisively. The forces inimical to our interests cannot be allowed to grow,” he said.

While observing that the war on poverty was not yet over, Mukherjee lamented that one-fifth of the country’s people remain below the poverty line.

“Our economy is yet to grow at over 10 percent for an extended period of time to make a significant dent on poverty. Gandhiji’s mission to wipe every tear from every eye still remains unfulfilled,” he said.

While calling for efforts to ensure food security for all, the President said the agriculture sector needed to be made resilient to the vagaries of nature.

“The competitiveness of the domestic industry has to be improved by focusing on quality, productivity and efficiency,” he said stressing on the need for creating world-class manufacturing and services sectors.

“We have to work harder to change our consumption pattern which has resulted in environmental and ecological de-gradation. We have to appease nature to prevent it from unleashing its fury in the form of floods, landslides and droughts,” he said.

“We have to work harder to provide safety and security to our women and children.

“We have to work harder because our pluralistic culture and tolerance are still being put to test by vested interests. Reason and moderation should be our guide in dealing with such situations,” said Mukherjee.

“We have to work harder to ensure the well-being of our soldiers and security personnel who protect us from internal and external threats,” he added.