Around 600 Pradhans (village chiefs) of border villages were invited as ‘special guests’ to witness the 76th Independence Day celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing the nation.

PM Modi, during his address from Red Fort: “Earlier, border villages were considered as the last villages of the country but that perception has changed. These villages are now considered not the last villages but the first villages at the border.”

Modi said that the government started Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP). Border villages were known as the country's last village but the BJP government has changed this mindset.

“The villages you see on the border are my country’s first village. When the sun rises, the first ray falls on the first village on this side (east), and when the sun sets, the last ray falls on the first village on that side (west). These are my first villages,” PM Modi said.

The Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) was announced in the Finance Minister's Budget Speech in 2022. It covers the border areas of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Ladakh.

PM Modi said that he is happy that around 600 pradhans of border villages were invited as special guests to witness the Independence Day celebrations.

He said that these special guests have come this far for the first time with new determination and strength.