20 Aug : The nation on Friday fondly remembered former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 66th birth anniversary.
The day is observed as ‘Sadbhavana Diwas’.
President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi were among the first to pay floral tributes to the late leader at his memorial ‘Veer Bhumi’.
MP Rahul and his sister Priyanka along with her husband Robert Vadra were also present at the remembrance ceremony at the memorial.
Besides, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and senior Congress leaders also paid floral tributes at the memorial.
Later at a separate function, Sonia Gandhi presented motorised vehicles to 150 disabled persons. All recipients of the vehicles suffer from severe lower-limb disability.
The function was organised by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
Meanwhile, party leaders from south India, who took out a ten-day-long Rajiv Gandhi Jyothi Sadbhavna Yatra, starting from Sriperamadur in Tamil Nadu, arrived in the national capital and visited Gandhi’s memorial at Veerbhoomi.
They also visited AICC headquarters along with the Jyothi, where AICC secretary Archana Dalmia received it.
About 250 Congress workers participated in the Yatra, which passed through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
All India Mahila Congress office bearers organised a free eye and dental check-up camp for women in collaboration with Rotary International and Sunderlal Jain Charitable Eye Hospital in the party headquarters.
Minister of Health in Delhi government Kiran Walia also visited the camp.
More than a thousand women, who were registered for check-up of eye and dental ailments, got free medicines and spectacles.
AIMC President Prabha Thakur sought support for passing of the women reservation bill.
“Rajiv Gandhi devoted his life for the empowerment of women and a real tribute to Rajiv ji will be the passing of the bill in Lok Sabha that provides for 33 per cent reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies,” she said.