Indians in Juba celebrate 72nd Republic Day
By Wek Atak Kacjang
Indian community living in Juba with support from the embassy led by Ambassador S. D Moorthy celebrated their 72nd Indian Republic Day.
Speaking to Press yesterday, the Indian Ambassador to South Sudan, S.D Moorthy appreciated the Indian community and invited guests for attending the celebration, and aired out some of the achievements made by India in South Sudan, citing out the need to strengthen the bilateral relation between the two countries.
“Once again, our warm welcome to you on our 72nd Republic Day. I thank the officers from UNMISS and UNPOL, the Indian community. The Indian Embassy is trying its best to strengthen the bilateral relationship between India and South Sudan and I request your support and cooperation to make it a success,” he said.
He requested the senior Indian community members to advise new Indian business entrepreneurs coming into the country to create employment opportunities for South Sudanese and for our own progress in the country.
“I request all of you to cooperate and support Indian Embassy to make our tricolor fly very high in South Sudan in the years to come,” he emphasized.
He revealed that Indian peace keeping battalions have helped keep peace in the country, even the newly deployed ones will do well like the former.
“13 Punjab Regiment in Malakal and 20 J&K Rifles in Bor have done a commendable service during their deployment in South Sudan. The new Battalion 15 Grenadier replacing 20 J&K Rifles reached Juba recently is deployed in Bor and I am sure they would follow their predecessors’ steps to earn a good image for India by their dedicated service,” he said.
In addition to the services rendered, the Indian community also extended humanitarian assistance like donating food and non-food items to the people.
“You are all well-aware that Government of India donated 7O metric tons of food aid to the flood affected people of South Sudan as a humanitarian gesture which was appreciated by President Salva Kiir and other leaders as a friendly help to a needy friend to mitigate the sufferings of South Sudanese,” Moorthy stated.
In February 2020, a consignment of life saving drugs was donated by the Indian community, and there is still a plan to donate another consignment of Covid-19 related medicine and food aid in the months to come.
Since India is termed as the “Pharmacy of World”, during the peak pandemic period. India gifted Covid-19 related medicines to more than 150 countries. He cautioned South Sudanese to continue being alert and not to contract the coronavirus.
“Coronavirus pandemic is still active in South Sudan. The infection rate is slowly going up day by day. I request all of you to take precautions to guard yourselves from the deadly virus,” he cautioned.
He also urged the Indians in Juba to be security cautious after receiving complaints from fellows of robbery.
“In recent times, the Embassy has been receiving complaints from our nationals about snatching and robbery incidents in Juba. The victimized Indians are requested to immediately launch complaint to police after the incident and simultaneously inform the Embassy to take up the matter with the police authorities. All are requested to take due care while moving in the city,” He added.
Republic Day is celebrated every year in India on January 26 to commemorate the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect, in the year 1950, and the country became a republic. The significance of January 26 is that on that day in 1929, the Indian National Congress made the well-known declaration of “Poorna Swaraj” or complete self-rule and Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the tricolour on the banks of the Ravi River.
This occasion was marked with a creative doodle (art work) illustrated by Mumbai-based guest artist Onkar Fondekar.