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74th Independence Day: Indian envoy lauds UAE role in combating Covid-19

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 15, 2020 | Last updated on August 15, 2020 at 03.49 pm
74th Independence Day, india, Dubai-Kozhikode flight crash, UAE, India Independence Day

Supplied photo


Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor unfurled the national flag at the Embassy.

Indians in the UAE marked their 74th Independence Day on Saturday. Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor unfurled the Indian national flag at the Embassy. Following the social distancing norms, only the embassy personnel attended the ceremony. The entire proceedings were live streamed on the embassy's social media platforms.

There was a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the ill-fated Dubai-Kozhikode flight crash.

Kapoor, in his address, acknowledged the contributions of the embassy staff, community leaders and members and the role played by the associations in dealing with the pandemic situation and the smooth conduct of the Vande Bharat Mission.

"I also thank the UAE government and the health authorities for their support. As of date we have sent 325,000 Indians back in just over three months. Now we are at a stage where we have got an air bubble with the UAE and air tickets can be booked by anyone who is wanting to return."

Kapoor noted the engagement with the UAE authorities ensured that 25,000 UAE residents stuck in India were bought back between July 12 and 25.

"Now with the air bubble, the two-way traffic has opened up. So many more Indians with valid visas for the UAE can come back. So we are moving to a stage of slightly greater normality."

Cooperation in health sector

The ambassador underlined that amid the pandemic the bilateral momentum was maintained with coordination in relief measures and the health sector.

"We coordinated and cooperated very well with the UAE government during the pandemic. We sent them medicines and almost 400 health workers and doctors. We also got help from them in the form of masks, PPEs and medical assistance. So we have kept this interaction going through cooperation in the health sector."

He noted the leadership of both the countries are in touch with each other.

"There is a very active bilateral engagement this week. On Monday, the two foreign ministers will be having a formal meeting. We are hopefully going to see some exchange in the sporting sector with the IPL coming to the UAE. So we are looking at new ways in which we can cooperate with the UAE as we take along our bilateral agenda."

'Let's continue fight against Covid-19'

Meanwhile, the India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) Abu Dhabi held a flag hoisting ceremony at 7.30am. As precautionary measures, only committee members participated.

ISC President Yogish Prabhu urged the expatriate community to continue supporting the UAE's fight against the pandemic.

"On this occasion we should remember the sacrifice of our freedom fighters who fought for the independence of our country. At present we all are understanding the importance of freedom since our movements are restricted due to the pandemic situation. Let's all pledge to do our best in the fight against this virus and get the freedom from it."

Prabhu, who hails from a family of freedom fighters, added: "Our ancestors who fought for independence, had great hope and faith in the future generations. It is our duty to work hard to fulfil their dreams and make every possible effort for the betterment of our country."

ISC will hold virtual cultural programmes by 7.30pm. Groups representing different states - Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal - will perform various acts.  

author

Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.


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