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Jeddah: Some thousands of NRIs across the Gulf region on Monday proudly celebrated 76th Independence Day, with tricolour fluttering high, and distributing cakes and sweets.

The commemorating Independence Day and flag hoisting is customary at Indian missions, however, the display of tricolour has assumed significance this year after the Indian government launched the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign.

Numerous Indian workers engaged at different work sites have celebrated the event by cutting cakes and distributing sweets. In early morning hours several NRIs thronged to Indian missions by leaving their work aside to commemorate Independence Day and reverberating the national anthem.

In Saudi Arabia, which houses the second highest number of Indians, Indians celebrated Independence Day with enthusiasm and joy, with DCM N Ram Prasad hoisting the national flag and paying floral tributes to the father of the nation at embassy in Riyadh.

Some labour accommodations and work sites where Indian workers working and living also marked the event with zeal. The Indian employees working in a key infrastructure project in Ras Al Khair, seashore town in Eastern Province, among others celebrated Indian Independence Day by cutting cake and distributing sweets. “We were delighted to celebrate 15 August, ” said Laxminarayana Chari, NRI from Telangana who works at the project site.“Though away from home, we too part in ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’,” said Riyadh based Ch Shiva Reddy, hailing from Hyderabad.

In Jeddah, Consul General Md. Shahid Alam unfurled the national flag amidst joy clapping of attendees followed by the singing of national anthem.

Shahid Alam highlighted the welfare measures initiated by the consulate aiming to distress workers through open house. He noted that the challenging issue of exit for destitute Indians is being taken up by the mission. He read out the President’s speech. The Consul General presented certificate appreciation for the participants of Har Ghar Tiranga.

“We feel proud to attend in higher numbers in Covid-19 free era compared with previous event”, said Mirza Qudrat Nawaz Baig, who regularly participates in the event. It was delighted to participate in tricolour hoisting, said Santi Malleshan, a Telugu activist.

In the United Arab Emirates where, the largest number of Indian nationals living and working, Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir led the celebrations by hoisting the Indian tricolour national flag at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. He paid floral tribute at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi.

Sudhir pointed out that under the visionary leadership of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the tri-colour has gained further respect globally. He added “Today, wearing the tricolour, or flashing the Indian passport, evokes respect for Indians”, according to reports.

The event marked with zeal as part of Har Ghar Tiranga with variety of programmes in Dubai despite adverse weather conditions. The yacht plying in Dubai Marina with top of tricolour note of interest in this year celebrations, according to participants. In Sharjah, blue collar workers participated in exclusive event that held by Indian Association, it said.

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Author: Howard Caldwell