Harmohan Singh Walia or Harry Walia as he is popularly known was an Olympic Torchbearer in Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. He graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana in 1973 and post graduated as an Industrial Engineer from Thaper University Patiala in 1987.Read More
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (31 October 1875 – 15 December 1950) was born and raised in the countryside of Gujarat. He was employed in successful practice as a lawyer. He subsequently organised peasants from Kheds, Borsad and Bardoli in Gujarat in non-violent civil disobedience against oppressive policies imposed by the British Raj, becoming one of the most influential leaders in Gujarat. Being a leader of the Indian National Congress, he continued to promote the Quit India Movement. As the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India, Sardar Patel organised relief efforts for refugees fleeing from Punjab and Delhi and worked to restore peace across the nation during partition in 1947.
Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was celebrated at the Indian Cultural Centre, Indian Consulate, Sydney on 31st October 2017. Mr Vanlal Vawna, Consul General of India, Sydney while welcoming the guests said that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was an Indian barrister and statesman, a leader of the Indian National Congress and a founding father of the Republic of India who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation.
Students of Sydney Sanskrit School and IABBV Hindi School students rreceived the certificates for participating in the essay competition.
Mr. Dipen Rughani, an immediate past president of the Australia India Business Council and basically from Gujarat was the guest speaker. Mr. Rughani highlighted the greatness of Sardar Patel and Rashtriya Ektra Diwas celebrations in India. He said, Sardar Patel led the task of forging a united India, successfully integrating into the newly independent nation British colonial provinces that had been “allocated” to India. Also those provinces that had been under direct British rule, virtually 565 self-governing princely states. Employing frank diplomacy with the expressed option to deploy military force, Sardar Patel persuaded almost every princely state to accede to India. His commitment to national integration in the newly independent country was total and uncompromising, earning him the title “Iron Man of India”. Some qoutes of Sardar Patel were also read.
A documentary on the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was played on this occasion highlighting his achievements.
Mr. Chandru Appar, Consul, Trade and Commerce conducted an on-spot Quiz with 5 questions. The winners with right answers were awarded on the spot as well. There was some pages of a book reading by Ms Moumita Banerjee.
Ms Poonam, MC read out the names of the winners of Essay competition conducted by the Consul General. The prizes will be sent to their respective schools as they were not present. The result is as follows:
The total enteries in the age group below 9 were 9, Bianca Goel, Deepa and Pritika Nirmal stood first, second and third respectively. The total entries in the age group of 10-12 were 7, Dhruv Saini and Arya Wadhwani stood first and second respectively. The total entries in the age group of 13-15 were 7 again, Anurag Dhar, Pavani Chanana and Smriti Raghunathan stood first, second and third respectively. Lastly, the total entries in the age group of 16-18 were 2 only, where Ayush Tamhankar was the winner of the first prize. Other participants will receive the “Certificate of Participation” and a couple of students present received this certificate from the Consul General.
In India, the day began with a floral tribute to the Sardar Patel’s statue by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Sardar Patel Chowk in the national capital, New Delhi.
Prime Minister Modi then flagged off the “Run for Unity” event at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. There was a participation of over 15,000 students along with others including ex-Servicemen, athletes and NSS volunteers. Sports personalities like P.V Sindhu, Captain of the Indian Women Cricket team, Mitali Raj, Dipa Karmakar, Suresh Raina, Sardara Singh, and Karnam Malleswari were also present with PM Modi at the ‘Run for Unity’ event.
“India is a country full of diversity. ‘Unity in Diversity’ is our specialty,” PM Modi said while flagging off the ‘Run for Unity’ on the birth anniversary of the first deputy prime minister of India at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi.
Highlighting the contribution of Sardar Patel, PM Modi said: “Using his skills and determination Sardar Patel saved India from the problems that emerged soon after Partition.
“He ensured India did not remain split into small princely states.” PM Modi also emphasised that “our country should remain one”.
Several Departments of the Central Government also celebrated the Ekta Diwas by carrying out programmes to spread the message of unity.