Muscat: Cleaning beaches around the country and helping plant more than a million trees are some of the ways in which Indian nationals in Oman aim to make the country a nicer place to live.
The initiative of the Indian nationals stems from Sewa Utsav (Hindi for ‘Festival of Service’), an effort launched worldwide by the Indian government to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence. In Oman, the efforts come through the Embassy of India during the Holy Month of Ramadan, a period characterised by selflessness and good deeds to help the community.
“It is customary to celebrate such a grand occasion through cultural and other performances. However, we decided to celebrate this momentous occasion through community service,” said Amit Narang, the ambassador of India to Oman. “This is in line with the emphasis placed in Indian culture on the virtue of social service and in sync with the service and piety-oriented spirit of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
“The range of activities being organised under the ‘Festival of Service’ is aimed to highlight the positive contribution of the Indian community as peaceful and productive members of the Omani society. This is also an occasion for the Indian community to express their appreciation and solidarity with their friendly brothers and sisters in Oman for their love and hospitality.”
The Sewa Utsav is a country-wide initiative in which the members of the Indian community across Oman will take part. This includes the cities of Sohar, Sur and Salalah, in addition to Muscat. The initiative will also involve the students of Indian schools in Oman who have come forward enthusiastically to contribute.
One of the important pillars of this activity is caring for the environment as responsible citizens. Thus, the Indian community members and students will join hands to simultaneously undertake beach cleanups and wadi cleanings at five different locations in Oman. A tree plantation drive involving Indian students will contribute to the Government of Oman’s drive to plant 10 million trees.
Amit Narang lauded the efforts of the Care and Special Education (CSE), a centre for children with special needs run at the premises of the Indian School Muscat with the support of all Indian schools.
“Inclusive education is the need of the hour and we are honoured to join hands with CSE to focus on this important facet of education,” he explained. “CSE is doing commendable work with the support of all Indian schools in Oman to give quality care and support to the children with special needs. It was a pleasure indeed to interact with these special children and spend some time with them.”
He said: “The Sewa Utsav or the Festival of Service is a fitting celebration of 75 years of India’s independence as it highlights the core Indian thoughts of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam’ and ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah’ i.e. treating the world as one family and working for the welfare of others. It is also a celebration of India-Oman friendship that is time-tested and will only be strengthened in the months and years to come.”