By Sajeev K Peter
KUWAIT: The Indian Embassy in Kuwait celebrated the 76th Independence Day of India on Monday, marking a significant milestone in the history of the country. Thousands of Indians joined the celebrations virtually as the ceremony was held in accordance with COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. The event was livestreamed on the embassy’s social media accounts.
The official celebration titled #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav got off to a solemn start at 8 am at the embassy premises with Indian Ambassador Sibi George paying a floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. It was followed by unfurling of the national tricolor flag and singing of the Indian national anthem. The ambassador read out Indian President Droupadi Murmu’s message to the nation on the occasion. George also addressed the participants and Indian nationals who attended the celebrations virtually.
The ambassador thanked the leadership and government of the friendly State of Kuwait for their continued support in further deepening and strengthening India-Kuwait bilateral relations and for taking special care of the Indian diaspora in Kuwait, which numbers around one million.
“During 2021-22, we were able to take our bilateral relationship with Kuwait to a high new level of dynamic partnership in both political and economic fields. Despite many challenges, our political engagement and business cooperation continued its upward trajectory,” the ambassador pointed out.
Extending greetings to all Indians in Kuwait on the occasion, the ambassador said, “We have been celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ along with the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Kuwait. I thank the Kuwaiti leadership for the wholehearted support extended to the embassy in celebrating the confluence of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations,” he said.
George highlighted the efforts undertaken by the embassy on various fronts, including promotion of trade, investment, culture and tourism, expansion and deepening of institutional cooperation in different domains, and various measures to ensure the welfare of the Indian community in Kuwait.
Highlighting the embassy’s efforts to work along with the Indian community in promoting India-Kuwait relations, he said: “During 2021-22, we witnessed the Indian tricolor flying on the iconic Kuwait Towers for the first time in the history of the towers, not once but twice.” He recalled the recent visit of Indian naval ship INS TEG which was accorded a rousing welcome by the Kuwait’s naval authorities.
The ambassador also cited examples of increased India-Kuwait cooperation in the field of culture over the last two years. “With the support of NCCAL, we organized several cultural events and exhibitions at the Kuwait National Library, Kuwait National Museum, Yarmouk Cultural Center, Sadu House and Kuwait Art Association,” he said.
The ambassador also recalled the International Day of Yoga celebrations, special cycle rally, 75 varieties of Indian dishes served at the ‘Made in India Festival’, Indian traditional fashion show, mango festivals, herbal plants exhibition, state facilitation events, 3 Ts campaign and the several Made in India exhibitions that the embassy organized at its premises and all across Kuwait. “Today, as I speak to you, over a hundred buses are carrying the Indian tricolor all across the streets of Kuwait as part of our 3 Ts campaign,” he pointed out.
George, who is leaving Kuwait as Indian ambassador and taking over as the new Indian envoy to Japan early next month, thanked Indians in Kuwait, various community organizations and Indian Embassy officials on the occasion.