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Consulate celebrates 68 years of India’s independence

Tsitsi Matope

The Indian community living in Lesotho on Friday celebrated 68 years of India’s independence with a special ceremony, which marked the raising of their country’s flag for the first time in Lesotho.
The Indian Consulate in Lesotho was established early this year with the appointment of Honorary Consul Man Mohan Bakaya.
India became independent from Britain on August 15 in 1947.

Celebrations organised by the High Commission of India in Pretoria, South Africa, started last Sunday with various cultural activities. The famous Indian Classical Dance Troupe, which represents India’s old and famous dance form called ‘Odissi’ travelled all the way from India to grace the early celebrations.

In an interview, Consul Bakaya paid tribute to the late Mahatma Gandhi, who is regarded as the ‘father of India’.
“He envisaged that this day should not be wasted but spent doing something constructive such as helping others and sharing. That is why the cultural exchange activities between Lesotho and India are heartwarming and also a demonstration of the strong bond that exists between the two countries,” Consul Bakaya said.

He further said following the establishment of the Indian Consulate in Lesotho, he would remain committed to strengthening relations between Lesotho and India.
“I will not tire of supporting any positive partnerships in all areas because that would contribute to the development of the two countries.”

Consul Bakaya further explained following Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s visit to India early this year, many potential investors have come from India to explore business partnerships in Lesotho.
“I am optimistic of positive outcomes of these visits based on the discussions I had with the investors.”

Apart from the business opportunities, the Indian government, in its 2014/2015 financial year, had allocated 76 scholarship slots to Lesotho.
So far 18 scholarships were awarded to students who are currently studying engineering, finance, commerce, business administration and marketing.

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