On Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 142nd birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged off 'Run For Unity' at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi.
The prime minister even paid floral tributes to the country’s first Home Minister in New Delhi.
PM NARENDRA MODI ADDRESSED GATHERING ON SARDAR PATEL'S BIRTH ANNIVERSARY: AS IT HAPPENED
07:42 am: Proud of his contribution to India before we attained freedom and during the early years after we became independent, says PM Modi.
07:40 am: The prime minister made the countrymen take an oath of unity, aimed at protecting and preserving the diversity of the nation.
07:35 am: I'm really happy that the young generation of the country is participating actively in this 'Run for Unity'.
07:34 am: It is the responsibility of every Indian to ensure that the country gifted to us by Sardar Patel does not fail.
07:32 am: We have forgotten Sardar Patel. But with 'Run for Unity', the country is again remembering its greatest hero.
07:30 am: Today's generation has not been told much about the contributions of Sardar Patel.
07:28 am: Today is Sardar Patel's birth anniversary, also the death anniversary of former PM Indira Gandhi.
07:25 am: We will work towards building a new India, and this is what our pledge should be: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sardar Patel's birth anniversary.
We salute Sardar Patel on his Jayanti. His momentous service and monumental contribution to India can never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/t9TFeii3IP— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 31, 2017
07:24 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying tributes to the country's first Home Minister. He offered floral tributes to Patel in New Delhi, followed by administering a pledge and flagging off the 'Run for Unity'.
07:23 am: President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also paid floral tributes to Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary.
07:25 am: Meanwhile, the Centre has asked the chief ministers and central ministers to observe the birth anniversary of Patel as a day to foster and reinforce the government's dedication to strengthen unity, integrity and security of the nation.
07:23 am: The ministry of sports will organise the run in 623 districts with the help of 12 regional centres of the Sports Authority of India and the Nehru Yuvak Kendra.
07:21 am: While the ministry of culture will host digital exhibition on Patel's life and 44 painting exhibitions in various parts of the country, the external affairs ministry will show films, host exhibition and talks on Patel in Indian missions abroad.
07:20 am: The railway ministry will display banners and put up creative hoardings with Patel's messages in 100 railway stations across the country, the official said.
07:15 am: Similar programmes are being organised by the ministries of human resource development, health, steel, tourism besides others.
07:12 am: The government observes October 31 all over the country as a day of special occasion to foster and reinforce the government's dedication to preserve and strengthen unity, integrity and security of our nation by celebrating it as a 'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas' to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, another official said.
07:09 am: The state governments have been asked to encourage college and school students to participate in the national unity day events.
07:07 am: PM Modi, in his 'Mann ki Baat' radio broadcast on Sunday, paid tributes to Sardar Patel, saying he laid the foundation of a "modern, united India".
07:06 am: He also said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ensured that millions of Indians were brought under the ambit of "one nation, one constitution" and his message of unity and patriotism was an inspiration for New India.
07:03 am: Around 15,000 people had participated in the event in Delhi last year and the number is expected to go up this year.
07:01 am: Patel was born on October 31, 1875, and passed away on December 15, 1950.
07: 00 am: October 31 is also the death anniversary of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.