By Emelda Siama John
The Embassy of India in Juba celebrated the 73rd Republic Day of India in its premises in the morning yesterday.
India is marking the completion of 75 years of its independence, which is being celebrated as “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” (AKAM), i.e. the great festival of freedom in India and across the world.
Ambassador Vishnu Kumar Sharma unfurled the National Flag and read out excerpts from the President of India’s address to the nation, The function was organized with the restricted presence of Indian nationals keeping in view the Covid-19 Pandemic related restrictions.
“In the spirit of the festival, the Government of India and its Missions/Posts abroad are organizing several events in collaboration with the Indian Diaspora abroad to cherish the memories of India’s great leaders & unsung heroes of freedom struggle, rich culture and heritage of India, achievements of India and Indians during its journey of 75 years as an independent nation,” Kumar said.
Ambassador Vishnu Kumar further described the visit of the Minister of State of External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs of India HonMr. V. Muraleedharan, in October 2021, to South Sudan as historic.
He asserted that the visit had given a fillip to bilateral relations; he announced that an artificial limbs fitment (Jaipur foot) camp would be organized this year for the benefit of around 500 amputees in collaboration with the Juba Military Referral Hospital.
In his speech, he also shared that with the approval of H.E. the President of South Sudan, the issue of allocation of plots of land for a temple and cremation ground for Indian community was under process with Central Equatoria State authorities.
“I thanked the Indian community for their support and asked them to even more enthusiastically take part in all the events the Embassy was organizing, especially in connection with AKAM, while assuring them of all possible assistance from the Embassy in their hour of need,” Kumar cited.
He also applauded Indian contingent in UNMISS for rendering support in capacity building and philanthropic activities in South Sudan, and Indian police personnel in UNPOL for their outstanding service in challenging circumstances.
He further conveyed his sincere appreciation and thanks to Indians working in religious congregations such as Daughters of Mary Immaculate and Don Bosco, Ambassador described their selfless service of humanity in South Sudan as noble and helpful towards the cause of peace and development in the youngest nation of the world.
“During the celebrations, videos on Indian Tourism were played. The participants also got an opportunity to refresh their history even as snippets of India’s unsung heroes of its great struggle for independence from colonial rule as well as that on the significance of India’s Republic Day were being screened,” he added.