India Republic Day markedThe Embassy of India celebrated the 69th Republic Day of India by hosting a function on its premises in Kathmandu on Friday.
The Embassy of India celebrated the 69th Republic Day of India by hosting a function on its premises in Kathmandu on Friday.
Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri started the celebration ceremony by hoisting the national flag and reading out the message by President Pranab Mukherjee at the presence of the mission staffers and guests that included foreign dignitaries.
The students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Modern Indian School and Indian Cultural Centre, Kathmandu, sang patriotic songs to mark the occasion. Their patriotic renditions were capped by a scintillating musical performance by the Nepal Army Band.
On the occasion, Ambassador Puri felicitated seven widows, four next of kins of deceased soldiers and one disabled soldier of the Indian Armed Forces on the occasion by distributing their dues worth Rs 40.14 million and blankets.
The ambassador also presented keys of 30 ambulances and six buses to various hospitals, charity organisations and educational institutions of different districts in Nepal.
The embassy announced a book grant to 41 educational institutions and libraries across Nepal to provide educational material to students in remote areas.
Meanwhile, the Defence Wing of the embassy unveiled “Bhu Puu-2017”, the magazine covering the welfare initiatives of the Indian government for ex-servicemen domiciled in Nepal.
Later in the day, the Indian ambassador hosted a reception to celebrate the Republic Day, which also coincides with 70 years of establishment of diplomatic ties between India and Nepal. The event was attended by over 1,500 guests, including senior political leaders, public personalities as well as prominent Indian and Nepali citizens.
Oli absent from embassy's function
CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli skipped the Indian Republic Day function hosted by the Indian Embassy in the Capital on Friday, as he was scheduled to participate in an event in Pokhara. A source close to Oli said before leaving for Pokhara, he extended his wishes to Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri in a phone conversation.
Oli had also taken a rain check when he was invited by the Indian Embassy to last year’s Republic Day function, owing to his conflicting schedule. He had visited Mustang to inaugurate an energy project then. The same year UML chair had also skipped India’s 70th Independence Day function, where India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was the chief guest.
Oli, who is seen by many as a runaway favourite to become the next prime minister, has not attended any official function organised by the Indian Embassy since the 2015 Indian border blockade, which had caused the Nepal-India bilateral relations to hit their nadir.
Earlier on Thursday, the Indian envoy had said that India was very much looking forward to cooperate with the new government in Nepal.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already congratulated Oli in advance as future prime minister of Nepal. (PR)