The 73rd Independence Day of India was celebrated today morning in the Consulate General of India, Jeddah with immense joy and fervor. The Consul General Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh unfurled the National Flag which was followed by the singing of National Anthem.
The Consul General then read out the President’s Message to the nation which was followed by Singing of few Patriotic songs by members of Indian Community. The event was attended by about 1000 participants including, members of the Indian community, members of Haj Committee of India who came to perform Haj, Officials on Deputation for Haj, friends of India and officials & families of the Consulate.
The Consul General, Md. Noor Rehman Sheikh, in his speech greeted and congratulated all on the completion of 72 years of India’s Independence. He recalled the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters and spoke about ways to further develop the country. He applauded the efforts and improvements made in all sectors.
The Consul General expressed his gratitude and sincere thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, Haj Minister Saleh Bintin, other Saudi Authorities and Agencies for their cooperation, support and help for Indian Hajis and making comfortable, smooth, hassle-free and successful Haj-2019. He also expressed his gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for increasing Haj quota to the Indian Hajis to 2,00,000 this year. He pointed out that remarkable improvements have been made in the arrangements for the Indian Hajis this year including hiring of better buildings, use of new & good quality buses of 2018 & above models for transportation of Hajis between Azizia and Haram and between Makkah and Madinah, 2 brand new 100% cotton bedsheets to every HCOI Haji in Makkah/Azizia, good quality Tricolor Umbrella for all HCOI Hajis etc.
The Consul General also informed that CGI, Jeddah accords high priority to ensure welfare of about 1 million-strong Indian Community residing in the Western Region of the Kingdom. For redressal of grievances of the Indian community, a Pravasi Bhartiya Seva Kendra (PBSK) is functioning 24*7 in the Consulate. Indian nationals can approach the Kendra for registration and redressal of their grievances. The Consul General further pointed out that any Indian Citizen residing in the western part of the Kingdom can meet him directly on every Sunday and Thursday without any prior appointment besides, Indian citizens can also meet concerned Section Heads on all working days without prior appointment.
The Consul General also pointed out to the Indian community that it has been an endeavor of the Consulate to issue/renew passports within 3 working days. Besides, consular team of CGI, Jeddah also provides its consular services to Indian citizens who are residing in far-flung areas of its jurisdiction. He also pointed out that the passport services of the Consulate have now been made part of the Global Passport Seva Project of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India through which passport details of the applicants are available online in that System once a passport is issued.
Reading out the President Ram Nath Kovind’s message to the nation he remembered with gratitude the countless freedom fighters and revolutionaries who struggled, strived and made heroic sacrifices to win us our freedom from colonial rule. He emphasised the changes made in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh recently saying they would enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country. He also appreciated the productive first session of the 17th Lok Sabha as the Parliament passed many historic bills like abrogation of Article 370, geographical reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir, Triple Talaq Bill, new Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill and others.
He read that our country has reached the pinnacle of innovation, science and technology with the nation’s Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan projects. India has always flourished on the principle of ‘live and let live’. Our culture has always been that of inclusivity, with people of different languages, cultures and regions living together with brotherhood and unity. The government can build connectivity infrastructure in the form of wider, better highways and safer, faster trains; airports in the interiors of our country, and ports that dot our coasts. And near universal data access that allows common citizens to benefit from Digital India.
He even recalled that few weeks from now, on October 2nd, we will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the guiding light of our successful effort to liberate our nation and of our continuing effort to reform our society of all inequities. And this year also marks the 550th birth anniversary of one of the greatest, wisest and most influential Indians of all time – Guru Nanak.
The speech was followed by the cake cutting ceremony by the Consul General and his wife along with the members of the Consulate, important guests, people from press and media, and others.
The Event went smooth in a pleasant ambience of patriotism and brotherhood.