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Indian Tricolour flies high in Canada

Indian Tricolour flies high in Canada

India Blooms News Service | | 16 Aug 2016, 10:08 am
Toronto, Aug 16 (IBNS): Over 600 hundred people of Indian origin gathered together to celebrate the Indian Independence Day at the Consulate of India Office in Toronto on Monday.

The day started with the unfurling of the National Flag followed by singing of the National Anthem.

Consul General of India, Dinesh Bhatia was the guest of honour and read out the President of India, Dr. Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the nation.

“When we gained independence in 1947, nobody believed that India will survive as a democracy. Yet, seven decades later, one and a quarter billion Indians with all their diversity have proved those forecasts wrong,” read Consul General Bhatia. “The strong edifice of democracy built by our founding fathers on the four pillars of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity has withstood several threats from both within and without and has grown from strength to strength.”

Speaking on the spirit of India, Bhatia emphasized on what Pranab Mukherjee said in his words to the nation.

“Various forces external as well as internal have tried to smother this soul of India over millennia but every time this soul has emerged more powerful and more glorious having neutralized, assimilated and incorporated every challenge that it faced,” said the Indian President.

Bhatia further explained that the growth of India is complete only when the entire country grows socio- economically.

“Inclusive innovations linked to the aspirations of our people can benefit a wide spectrum of society as well as preserve our diversity. We as a nation must nurture creativity, science and technology,” he said.

Consul General Dinesh Bhatia, who has started an Open House in the Consulate recently, highlighted on new and improved services for the people of Indian origin as well as Indo Canadians.

“No appointments are required to meet me for any official work on Friday in between 10AM and 12PM,” he said.

The Consulate now runs an after-office and weekend service to offer emergency help to the Indian diaspora. 

Talking of the latest weekend, Bhatia mentioned, “This weekend we issued over hundred visas to the devotees of Swami Narayan Sect, who had to travel to India for the sad demise of his Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.”

Bhatia also said, “We have started a printing facility in the Consulate for the issue of Indian passports, which can now be issued on the same day.”

Indians who have settled down in Canada over the past decades are still strongly attached to the country when it comes to express their feelings for the nation.

Hari Panday, who is now the Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian Defence Services said, “Serving the Canadian army is akin to me as both the countries have a strong historical background. I am from India and I respect the culture and diversity of the land.”

Priti Lamba, President of Toronto-based AWIC Community and Social Services,an organization that caters to the Indian Diaspora said, “I have been living in this country for over 15 years now. This is the first time I saw such a big crowd gathering to celebrate the Indian Independence Day here in the consulate. I am very proud of my country and my Indian connection.”

Among the many distinguished people present to celebrate the day of freedom, were Rajender Singh, Indian Coast Guard Chief, Punjab Minister of Rural Development Sikander Singh Maluka., number of ex war veterans from the Indian defence services, organizations like the Indo-Canadian chamber of commerce and a few other cultural and social organisations serving the Indian community.

Children from Brampton-based Guru Tegh Bahadur International School rendered a few patriotic songs, marking the Indian spirit of “Unity in Diversity” and the Consulate presented the school with a collection of books and CDs to learn and master the Punjabi language.

Apart from the celebrations in the Consulate, many other Indian organizations such as the Hindu Cultural Society also celebrated the Indian Independence Day in Toronto with a lot of pomp and vigour.

AWIC Community and Social Services plans to celebrate Independence Day in the coming weekend.

Reporting by Debarati Mukherjee/IBNS

Images: Indian Independence Day celebrations in Toronto

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