President Ram Nath Kovind presented the National Service Scheme Awards for the year 2019-20 to 42 individuals or institutions in a virtual ceremony on Friday.

A total of 30 volunteers, 10 programme officers / NSS units and two universities and councils were awarded by the President.

Pointing to the fact that the National Service Scheme was established in 1969, on the occasion of the birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi, the President said, "Our youth should be responsible citizens and recognise themselves. According to Gandhiji 'the best way to know yourself is to dedicate yourself in the service of others'. Gandhiji's ideals and spirit of service are relevant and inspirational for all of us even today."

The President noted that during the initial outbreak of Covid-19, till the mass production of masks started, more than 2 crore 30 lakh masks were made by NSS and distributed in various parts of the country, a release from the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

He also noted that NSS volunteers provided Covid related information to people through helpline as well as helped district administrations in the awareness and relief activities.

The NSS Awards were instituted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports in 1993-94 on the occasion of Silver Jubilee Year of National Service Scheme.

The aim of these awards is to recognise and reward outstanding contributions towards voluntary community service made by the Universities/ Colleges, (+2) Councils and Senior Secondary, NSS Units/ Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers, the release added.