Antony distributes Republic Day awards

A K AntonyNew Delhi, Feb 20 : Union Defence Minister A. K. Antony on Friday distributed the Republic Day 2009 awards and said that the country is proud of the Republic Day parade and the performance is always a moment of pride for the country.

He termed this year's parade as among the best, and said: "The feedback from various sections we got is that this year's parade was one of the best ever seen."

Antony commended the participants and the large number of personnel involved for the relentless and untiring hard work that goes into organizing the parade in the preceding months.

"People are seeing the parade on the 26th January only, but you know very well that to make that a success, how much home work, sacrifice and dedication is needed," he added.

Antony earlier presented trophies to the winning contingents.

The Territorial Army bagged the coveted award for the best marching contingent among the three services while the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) received the trophy for the best marching contingent among paramilitary and other auxiliary marching contingents.

In the Children's pageant category, `Naari Shakti' programme presented by the students of Remal Public Sr. Secondary School, Rohini, Delhi was awarded the first prize as the Best School Children Item.

In the tableaux category, the tableau of Kerala depicting Pooram festival was awarded the first prize. The second prize went to the tableau from Maharashtra depicting the Gaja Dhol dance of the shepherds from Miraj, Kolhapur and Solapur hill regions.

The tableaux of Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir shared the third prize. (ANI)