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An only array of cultural pro grammes will be held at he Indian Consulate in Dubai and the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, with only a limited number of guests and participants in view of the COVID-19 protocol. The programmes will be streamed live on various social media platforms. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Indian expatriates in the UAE have been urged to join virtual celebrations of the 72nd Republic Day of their country on Tuesday in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Consulate General of India Dubai will be celebrating at the consulate’s premises from 7.45am onwards, the mission said on Sunday.

Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India to Dubai and Northern Emirates, will unfurl the national flag at 8am, followed by the National Anthem and reading out of the message of the Indian president to the nation on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day. “This will be followed by a short patriotic cultural programme to mark the occasion. The programme will be attended only by the officials of the consulate,” the mission stated.

Due to the restrictions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related safety protocol in place, the consulate has requested all Indian nationals living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates to join the mission’s programme virtually on its Facebook page or on the YouTube channel for live coverage and get live updates on its Twitter account.

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Indian paramilitary soldiers march during a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade, in Sri Nagar on Sunday. The Indian Consulate in Dubai, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian High School premises in Dubai will celebrate the occasion on January 26, but with only a limited number of guests and participants. Image Credit: AP

Last week, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi had also announced that this year, in-person celebrations for Republic Day at the embassy premises will be restricted only to embassy personnel in view of the social distancing norms in place. “However, the Indian community is invited to participate in the celebrations virtually as the programme will be live-streamed on our social media handles,” it stated.

After the flag-hoisting ceremony at 9am in Abu Dhabi, Ambassador Pavan Kapoor will read out the address to the nation by the president of India and deliver his own remarks, which will be followed by a short cultural programme, the mission had further stated.

'60@50@2020'

Meanwhile, the Republic Day celebrations held annually for the past 60 years at The Indian High School (IHS), Dubai, will be downscaled and streamlined for the rest of the school community, said Punit MK Vasu, CEO, The Indian High Group of Schools. “It’s a long-standing IHS tradition to celebrate Republic Day with a grand celebration that gets bigger and better every year. This year too, The Indian High Group of Schools will celebrate the day with myriad of patriotic semblance. A small scale, in-campus event at a significantly reduced scale will be hosted with only 150 people on campus, including the participating students,” Vasu said.

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“Given the current health and safety regulations, the remaining students and staff and the parent community will be invited to join the celebrations virtually. Dr Aman Puri, the Consul General of India, will lead the flag unfurling ceremony, followed by cultural performances by students from all three campuses. For 60 years, IHS has celebrated this day and this year we are launching 60@50@2020, which is the launch of our Diamond Jubilee year along with the Golden Jubilee of the UAE and with Dubai hosting Expo 2020,” he added.