"The country has come a long way since independence. We are working hard to overcome many of the forces such as intolerance, extremism, casteism and so on"
Indians in Qatar marked the 71st Independence Day of their country with great pomp and patriotic fervour. The Indian national flag was raised at various places including the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) and Indian schools.
Ambassador P Kumaran led the Independence Day celebrations at the ICC by hoisting the Indian flag at a special ceremony attended by a large number of community members. Officials of the apex bodies under Indian embassy, prominent members of the Indian community as well as office bearers of several Indian organisations were present on the occasion.
The Ashoka Hall of the ICC was overflowing with the community members who had converged on the venue early in the morning to take part in the celebrations.
At the event, ambassador Kumaran conveyed the Independence Day greetings.
"The country has come a long way since independence. We are working hard to overcome many of the forces such as intolerance, extremism, casteism and so on. This is a journey in which we have to move together and we all must contribute in making it successful in whatever way we can. Let us all pledge as citizens of India to engage in a spirit of collective selflessness to contribute to India’s continuous struggle for overcoming the barriers and make the country greater,” the ambassador said.
The Indian envoy also read out excerpts from the national address of President Ram Nath Kovind on the occasion of the Independence Day. The president had highlighted in his message the struggle for freedom and the people who had sacrificed their lives for the cause.
The message said: “This spirit of empathy and of social service and volunteerism is very much alive in India. There are so many people and organisations that work quietly and diligently for the poor and the disadvantaged.”
“They could be running schools for street children, caring for stray animals and birds, and providing water to hard-to-reach tribal communities in remote areas. Or cleaning rivers and public places. They are nation-builders in action, and we need to draw inspiration from them,” he noted.
“I am confident that a strong partnership between citizens and the government will allow us to meet the goals of New India. Today, the world is looking at India with admiration. Our country is seen as a responsible global citizen, a growing economy, and a solution provider to various international challenges – such as climate change, disasters, conflicts, humanitarian crises, radicalism and terrorism,” the Indian president said.
Yesterday's programme started with a parade by school students. ICC president Milan Arun welcomed the gathering and general secretary Juttas Paul conducted the meeting. Students of Indian schools presented patriotic songs during the function. A cake was cut to celebrate the occasion by the Indian ambassador and other officials. Head of consular services of ICC, K S Prasad proposed a vote of thanks.
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