Vande Matram to Vaccine Maitri: Indians in Sao Paulo celebrate 72nd Republic Day of India

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The national flag being hoisted at the Indian Consulate by Consul General Amit K Mishra (right)

Members of Indian community and Brazilians join the virtual event oragnized by the Consulate of India and Swami Vivekanand Cultural Centre   

Our Bureau
SAO PAULO 

The 72nd Republic Day of India was celebrated by the Indian community in Sao Paulo in an event oragnized by the Consulate of India and Swami Vivekanand Cultural Centre (SVCC) on Janaury 26, Tuesday. The event, organized at the Consulate of Indian premises on Avenida Paulista, was attended by the diplomats and officials of the Indian mission and representatives of Indian Association of Sao Paulo (IASP). 

The event, which was broadcast live on the Facebook pages of the Consulate, SVCC and IASP, began with the hoisting of the national flag by Consul General of India (CGI), Amit Kumar Mishra. As soon as the flag was hoitsed, the persons present at the Consulate sang the natonal anthem. After the flag-hoisting ceremony, the CGI read the “Address to the nation” speech of President Ramnath Kovind given on the eve of the Republic Day. 

CGI Amit K Mishra addressing the Republic Day gathering

In his address, watched online by members of the Indian community in Brazil and a large number of Brazilians, CGI Amit Mishra spoake about the cooperation between two countries in the times of a pandemic, specifiaclly mentioning how India had sent 2 milion doses of the vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India to help Brazil in its vaccination program. 

The Consul General’s address was followed by the playing of a video titled “Vaccine Maitri”, which showed how the Indian government was helping other countries with the Covid-19 vaccines. 

Initiating the cultural program of the day, SVCC director Puja Kaushik first thanked the Consul General, other Consulate officials and IASP members and invited Rakesh Kanojia, the vice president of the Association, to speak on behalf of the only organization of Indian community in Brazil. Introducing the programe, the SVCC director spoke about the significance of the day for the community in Brazil as she introduced all the participants.   

The cultural program, put together by the Indian comunity, began with the rendition of ‘Vande Mataram’, the national song, by Ratnabali Adhikari, a Sao Paulo-based musician. She followed it with “Amaar desher maati”, one of favorite songs of Subhash Chandra Bose, whose 125th anniversary is being celebrated this year.  

Ratnabali Adhikari (above) and Gyaneshree Karahe 

After the songs, the cultural program continued in this order: IASP president Shobhan Saxena spoke about the preamble of the Indian Constitution and its sigficance in the present times; Vijay Bavaskar, IASP cultural director, recited the Hindi poem “Yeh Bharat desh hamara” by the famous Tamil poet Subramania Bharati; Suraj Mohan, the commericial consul at the Consulate, presented the popular patriotic song “Yeh jo des hai mera”;  Nikita Kukreja, a young Indian executive, made a presentation in impeccable Portuguese about the history and evolution of the Indian national flag; Amitabh Ranjan, IASP social action director, read excerpts from a famour speech of Subhash Chandra Bose in Hindi and Portuguese; and finally Gyaneshree Karahe, a Sao Paulo-based teacher of Indian classical and Bollywood dances, presented a dance on a medley of patriotic songs. 

SVCC director Puja Kaushik (left) and Suraj Mohan
Nikita Kukreja
Vijay Bavaskar
Shobhan Saxena (left) and Amitabh Ranjan

A large number of people watched the Republic Day event live on social media and it has since been shared widely in the community on various platforms. 

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