The 73rd Republic Day of India was celebrated Wednesday with great enthusiasm and patriotic fervour in Qatar as Indian ambassador Dr Deepak Mittal hoisted the Indian national flag on the embassy premises. << Dr Deepak Mittal hoisting the Indian tricolour In the evening, during a reception at The Ritz-Carlton Doha, Dr Mittal was joined by HE the Minister of Labour Dr Ali bin Saeed bin Smaikh al-Marri and HE the Minister of Municipality Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie in cutting the ceremonial cake. Qatars Ministry of Foreign Affairs Protocol Department director, ambassador Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhro, was also present on the occasion. Patriotic fervour was palpable at the special event in the morning as a number of community members were present at the embassy early morning, following all the Covid-19 protocols. Several community leaders, including the office-bearers of apex bodies under the Indian embassy, were present. The number of participants at the event was limited and the ceremony was held in hybrid mode with different social media channels of the embassy streaming it online. Following the flag hoisting and rendering of the national anthem, the ambassador read out the message of the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, on the occasion of Republic Day. “It is an occasion to celebrate what is common to us all, our Indian-ness. It was on this day in 1950 that this sacred essence of us all assumed a formal shape. That day, India was established as the largest democratic republic and we the people put into effect a Constitution that is an inspired document of our collective vision. The diversity and vibrancy of our democracy is appreciated world-wide. It is this spirit of unity and of being one nation which is celebrated every year as Republic Day,” the Indian president said in his message. A patriotic song presentation at the embassy event. “Patriotism strengthens the sense of duty among citizens. Whether you are a doctor or a lawyer, a shopkeeper or office-worker, a sanitation employee or a labourer, doing ones duty well and efficiently is the first and foremost contribution you make to the nation,” the president said. Dr Deepak Mittal along with Dr Alpna Mittal cutting a cake to mark the occasion. “India is an ancient civilisation but a young republic. For us, nation-building is a constant endeavour. As in a family, so in a nation; one generation works hard to ensure a better future for the next generation. When we won independence, the exploitation of colonial rule had left us in utter poverty, but in seventy-five years, we have made impressive progress. New opportunities await the next generation. Our youth have taken advantage of these opportunities and set new benchmarks of success,” the message added. A solemn moment during the event. Supplied picture Addressing the gathering, Indian envoy said he was happy to see the community members standing together to face the difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic. He also appreciated Indian medical practitioners who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to provide all the care possible to needy members of the Indian community. From the cultural programme “I take this opportunity to thank the entire Indian medical fraternity for standing with the community in the most needed times of Covid-19. All the medical professionals have come forward extending support and assistance despite of their busy and tiring schedules. This is very commendable and let me take this opportunity to thank them,” said Dr Mittal. A traditional Indian percussion performance The Indian envoy also offered his gratitude to various apex bodies under the embassy, namely the Indian Cultural Centre, Indian Community Benevolent Forum, Indian Sports Centre and Indian Business and Professionals Council, for their efforts in helping the embassy reach out to the wider Indian community in several of its programmes and initiatives. He highlighted that each organisation has been instrumental in playing out its role in a constructive and befitting manner, which has been well appreciated by the leadership of Qatar. cultural programme at The Ritz-Carlton Doha The Sheraton Doha lit up in the colours of the Indian flag. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam The function was followed by a recital of patriotic songs and other cultural programmes. At the end of the event, ambassador Dr Mittal, along with his wife Dr Alpna Mittal and the presidents of apex bodies, cut a cake to mark the occasion. Iconic Doha landmarks such as the Sheraton Doha, Khalifa International Stadium were lit up in the colours of the Indian national flag to celebrate the occasion. Sports quiz Indian Sports Centre, under the aegis of the embassy of India, will hold a virtual sports quiz titled ‘Inquizzite’ to mark the Indian Republic Day and Azadi Ka Amrit Mahostav tomorrow from 4pm to 6pm. The quiz will be held through the Zoom platform and registration for the programme will close at 10pm Thursday. The registered participants can participate with the Meeting ID, 479.101.9875, while the passcode is isc. The quiz will be conducted by Manzoor Moideen and is open to all. There will be a separate session for students.