The 71st Independence Day was celebrated all across the dioceses of Believers Church with great patriotic fervor and enthusiasm.
At Believers Church Synod Secretariat, Bishop Praison John unfurled the tri-color flag and addressed the St. Thomas community members and staff. He opened his address by referring to the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s historic speech “Tryst with destiny”, and reflected on the developments made by the nation during the past 70 years. He then reminded the crowd that if India had to continue on the upward path of progress, it would happen only when each and every Indian did their part to contribute to the nation’s well-being and of one another.
“We are representatives of this nation. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill-will or blaming others. This is the time to commit ourselves to involve and labor hard in building our nation and serving the needy communities especially the deprived and marginalized sections of society, wiping every tear from every eye. United in peace and freedom, let us build a great nation”, he said. He ended his message with President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote that had defined a generation years ago – “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask instead what you can do for your country”.
As part of Independence Day celebrations, cleanliness drives were carried out at different locations such as police stations, government hospitals, schools, market areas, bus stands, roadsides and slums by dioceses of Gurdaspur, Vyara, Bastar, Berhampur, Diphu, Solan, Mujuli, Buniadpur, Vijayawada, Lucknow, Jeypore, Mumbai, Anand, Delhi, Udaipur and Hubli.
On the eve of Independence Day, various dioceses organized gift distribution programs where sewing machines, school uniforms, clothes and school bags were distributed among underprivileged women and children, including children from a leprosy colony.
In honor of the day, Believers Church Diocese of Vijayawada distributed fruits to the patients at two hospitals and to the inmates of a prison as well and Diocese of Vizag organized free medical camps. Rallies also were held to mark the occasion.
Another highlight of the celebration was the tree plantation drives organized by the Dioceses of Delhi, Vijayawada, Vyara, Mumbai, Dehradun and Dhemaji. Diocese of Delhi alone planted 400 tree saplings on that day.