'Consulate would do everything to create Home away from Home for Indians': Apoorva on 74th India's Independence Day
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Toronto, Aug 16 (Canadian-Media): This year's observance of 74th India's Independence Day on Aug 15 in the office of the Consulate General of India, Toronto was very different and unique due to the Covid19 pandemic.
The observance of the day was a virtual event. Nevertheless it did not lack zeal, enthusiasm and patriotism.
Consulate General of India Toronto office commenced the observation of 74th India's Independence Day on Aug 15 at 10 am by flag hoisting ceremony performed by the Consul General of India Toronto, Ms Apoorva Srivastava followed by India's National anthem.
Flag Hoisting ceremony by Apoorva Srivastava. Image credit: Twitter handle
This was followed by Apoorva Srivastava's speech wishing a very very happy 74th India's Independence Day to the Indian diaspora in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the virtual participants from all across the world.
Srivastava's speech. Image credit: Twitter handle
She then read the excerpts of the Happy Independence Day message of the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind's address to the nation on the eve of India's Independence.
Ram Nath Kovind. Image credit: Twitter handle
Kovind said "August 15 fills us with the excitement of unfurling the tricolour, taking part in celebrations and listening to patriotic songs....The ethos of our freedom struggle forms the foundation of modern India...We are fortunate that Mahatma Gandhi became the guiding light of our freedom movement...The celebrations of Independence Day this year will be rather restrained...Confident of our strengths, we reached out to help other countries in their fight against COVID-19...It has been the tradition of India that we do not just live for ourselves, but work for the well-being of the entire world...The invisible virus has demolished the illusion that human being is the master of nature. I believe, it is still not too late for humanity to correct its course and live in harmony with nature. The pandemic, like climate change, has awakened the global community to our shared destiny...that we are all equal before Mother Nature and...about augmenting health infrastructure...The need to accelerate developments in science and technology...The younger generation has learnt the lessons well, and I believe that the future of India is safe in their hands...Only ten days ago, construction of the temple at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi began, in Ayodhya...People of the country maintained restraint and patience for a long time and reposed unflinching trust in the judicial system...We have a lot to offer to the global community, especially for intellectual and spiritual enrichment and promotion of world-peace. With this spirit, I offer a prayer for the well-being of one and all."
Apoorva once again wished all the a very Happy India Independence Day. She offered her gratitude to 1.6 million Indo-Canadians, 700,000 Indian citizens in Canada, and 225,000 Indian students in Canada who act as a living bridge between India and Canada.
Group Photo at the Consulate office. Image credit: Twitter handle
She said that "while the Consulate welcomed people from India and offered them an opportunity to flourish and prosper, the Indian community has on its part contributed to Canadian life in every field from politics to commerce, from academic to arts," and added,
"I am very proud that the Indian community has come forward during the pandemic not only to support the stranded Indians but also the larger Canadian society."
Apoorva said that the Consulate on its part has been working with associations and helping the stranded Indians in all ways possible. Under the Vande Bharat Mission, said Apoorva 8000 people had been repatriated till then in 43 flights.
Vande Bharat Mission. Image credit: Facebook page
Apoorva continued to say that the Consulate had been doing everything from "consular services and facilitating Vande Bharat Mission flights" and added,
"Let me assure that the Consulate would do everything to create Home away from Home."
She then requested all to participate virtually in various events organized during the weekend including illumination of various iconic sites like Niagara Falls, CN Tower and Toronto Sign, and virtual Panorama India Parade.