This year’s Independence Day was celebrated with great fervour at SJEC.
Students, Faculty, Staff, Security Personnel, and Management Representatives turned up in good numbers to welcome and celebrate the 71st Independence Day of our beloved Motherland – India. The celebrations were held in front of the Administration Block. The site was adorned with National Flags and tri colour balloons.
Dr Sheryl Colaco, Professor and Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Rev. Fr Wilfred Prakash D’Souza, Director – SJEC, Rev. Fr Rohith D’Costa, Assistant Director – SJEC, Rev. Fr Joseph Lobo, Former Director – SJEC, Dr Rio D’Souza, Vice Principal – SJEC, and Rev. Fr Joseph Cardoza, Campus Counsellor, were the other dignitaries present on the occasion.
Ms Fiona from Third Year CSE welcomed the gathering to the celebrations. Ms Preemal and Group set the spirits high with the rendering of a medley of patriotic songs to commence the celebrations. The Chief Guest was then led to the flag post by Mr Sunny Jeff, the Assistant Physical Education Director, to hoist the National Flag. Dr Sheryl Colaco unfurled the National Flag and led by the Security Personnel; the gathering delivered the Flag Salute and rendered the National Anthem.
Dr Sheryl Colaco began her Independence Day address with the shloka Janani Janma-bhoomi-scha Swargadapi Gariyasi, meaning Mother and Motherland is greater than Heaven. Conveying her Independence Day wishes to everybody gathered Dr Sheryl spoke about the significance of Independence of India from three perspectives: Creators of Independent India, Creators of Modern India, and Creators of Future India. Reflecting on the Creators of Independent India, she paid homage to all Freedom Fighters who laid their lives and sacrificed their self for securing Independence and dignity for the generations to follow. The struggles of generations of Indians who stood up to the tyranny of the Colonial Rule were remembered with respect and love.
Moving on to Creators of Modern India, Dr Sheryl led the gathering in remembering the contributions of generations of teachers, scientists, engineers, doctors, farmers, social reformers, and the youth, in building India as to what it is today. She paid homage to all those souls who worked for the betterment and growth of their country and countrymen.
Speaking about the Creators of Future India, Dr Sheryl reminded the gathering that they are indeed the future of the country and their actions and responsibilities will decide the destiny of the Country. She mentioned the importance of taking stock of the current scenario and pointed out the lack of sufficient Medical Professionals in the Country. She quoted the 2016 statistics mentioning the prevailing status of 1 Doctor per 1000 people. She also spoke about the lack of quality engineers in the IT, mining, aeronautics and renewable energy sectors. Continuing on these challenges facing the country, she mentioned that one of the reasons for the above shortage of professionals lies in the thinking of Indian graduates that their future and dreams lay in another prosperous nation. Dr Sheryl spoke of the need for current graduates to take the responsibility of nation building. Even though the task is arduous, she reminded the efforts of our leaders who wrote books while in jails to guide the youth. Today’s youth owes it to their forefathers to work for the country. She spoke of the importance of being there for our parents when they need us the most.
She spoke to the gathering on the need to do our bit in preserving water resources, avoid wastage of electricity and energy. Quoting Swami Vivekananda, “You are the creator of your Destiny”, she asked the students to take part in programs such as Start-up India and make India their future. She prodded them to bring out innovative solutions in health, agriculture, education, and infrastructure as part of the Start-up India movement. Dr Sheryl also coined a new phrase, Prosper in India to signify the need for Indians to stay put in their country and work towards restoring the glory of ancient India, which attracted people from all parts of the globe.
She concluded her address with a small prayer for the motherland;
“O Bharath Matha, Help me believe in what I could be and all that I am. Show me the stairway that I have to climb. Mother for my sake, teach me to make India great!”
Her concluding message was: “Think India, Stay in India, and Prosper in India”.
The Chief Guest’s address was followed by releasing the tri-coloured balloons that soared in to the skies. Few more songs were sung commemorating the spirit of Independence. Sweets were distributed. The celebrations concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr Vaibhav from Third year Mechanical.
Mr Shravya S.K. from Third Year ECE compered the celebrations.
SJEC thanks Ms Vaneesha Rodrigues, Physical Education Director, Mr Sunny Jeff, Assistant Physical Education Director, Mr Alister D’Souza, Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department and everybody involved in organizing the celebrations.
Happy Independence Day!
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