Indians' Independence Day wish: Safety for women

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Indians Independence Day wish: Safety for women
A man wears and waves an Indian Flag cap and flaglet during the Indian Independence day Celebration at the Consulate-General of India in Dubai on Saturday.

Abu Dhabi/Dubai - Freedom not a problem, but more needs to be done for women empowerment, say residents.

By Jasmine Al Kuttab and Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Sun 16 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 16 Aug 2015, 9:18 AM

Indian residents turned up in large numbers at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi to mark their country's 69th Independence Day on Saturday.
Residents shared with Khaleej Times what the day means to them and also detailed their hopes for the future. Some of them stressed the need for freedom of women in the country.
Mudid Gupta, who has been living in the Capital for four months, said India's Independence Day honours the people who laid down their lives for her freedom.
"In 1947, we received our identity, but we didn't receive it that easily," he said. "Many people suffered for that freedom and that is why we can never forget ... (them)."
However, the 27-year-old highlighted that although this day is a symbol of the country's freedom, India has many obstacles to overcome, such as freedom for women.
Gupta said he hoped the future will allow for greater empowerment of Indian women, which "has been a fundamental theme in my own career". He has been devoting time to a non-profitable organisation called Sneh Foundation, which was founded in Pune.
He said the organisation focuses on women empowerment in India and strives to create greater awareness on education, employment, health and freedom of women.
The issue of women's safety did not go unnoticed during Saturday's celebrations. A group of young women, who did not wish to be named, said they hoped to see less crime and more safety for Indian women.
"Freedom isn't a problem in India," one woman pointed out. "We respect all religions equally, but we wish to see more empowerment of women, more safety for women; ... (for women) to simply go out and feel safe. Siddharth Jani, who has been living in Abu Dhabi for the last nine months, said this day means a lot to him. "I can't really find the right words to describe how I feel," he said.
In Dubai, Indian national Abhinnand Krishna, 11, excitedly clutched a miniature plastic tricolour and stared at the Indian national flag as Consul-General Anurag Bhushan hoisted it. "I attend the flag hoisting ceremony every year," said Krishna.
For young boys like Krishna, events like the Independence Day celebrations hosted by the Indian mission in Dubai bring him closer to his home country. Dubai resident Dr Vandana Bhaskaran also attends the Independence Day celebrations every year. "We try not to miss it because it keeps us close to home," said Dr Bhaskaran. In Dubai, over 1,000 Indians turned up at the consulate to celebrate the country's Independence Day. Bhushan read out a paragraph from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee's speech that was delivered on the eve of Independence Day.
"I am truly touched that every one took time off their busy schedules to partake in the celebrations," he said.
Rekha Sivadasan, a resident of Sharjah, said: "I try and attend the flag hoisting ceremony in the consulate every year. It is important that our children learn more about our country and culture."
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com
jasmine@khaleejtimes.com

Two children waving national flags at the Indian consulate in Dubai.
Two children waving national flags at the Indian consulate in Dubai.
HAPPY AND PROUD ... A girl celebrates at the Indian consulate, Dubai, on Saturday.
HAPPY AND PROUD ... A girl celebrates at the Indian consulate, Dubai, on Saturday.
A man celebrating I-Day with his son at the Indian Embassy, Abu Dhabi.
A man celebrating I-Day with his son at the Indian Embassy, Abu Dhabi.


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