Flag hoisting marks India’s 72nd Republic Day

Rokiah Mahmud

The Vande Bharat Mission will continue to extend all possible assistance to stranded Indians to facilitate their repatriation home.

Indian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Ajaneesh Kumar noted this during a flag hoisting ceremony marking the 72nd Republic Day of India yesterday.

“In many parts of the world, some of us have lost our loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides causing great social distress, it also causes great stress and disruptions in the economics of all countries, India included.

“We saw a massive 23.9-per cent contraction in our gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of the current year at 12.4 per cent. The battle is not yet over, but we see a silver lining on the horizon. The launch of the anti-COVID vaccines and the commencement of the inoculation process have further provided a sense of relief as well as encouragement to one and all,” Ajaneesh Kumar said.

“In line with the massive and unprecedented initiative taken by the Indian Government to evacuate Indian nationals stranded in various parts of the world (under the Vande Bharat Mission), the Indian High Commission in Brunei Darussalam actively supports the repatriation of Indians stranded in Brunei. “Since July 3, 2020, the mission has organised nine chartered flights and facilitated the return of 1,246 stranded Indian nationals. “Return legs of these flights were utilised by 244 Indians and Bruneians travelling back to Brunei as well. The mission will continue to extend all possible assistance to stranded Indians to facilitate their repatriation to India,” he added.

The high commissioner conveyed the address from Indian President Ram Nath Kovind delivered on the eve of the Republic Day. The event was attended by guests and members of the Indian community residing and working in Brunei.

ABOVE & BELOW: Indian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Ajaneesh Kumar during the flag hoisting; and attendees at the India’s 72nd Republic Day celebration. PHOTOS: ROKIAH MAHMUD