A special celebration and award ceremony headed by the Office of the Honorary Consul of India to Grenada in honour of the 75th Anniversary of the Independence of India took place on 15 August 2021 at the Botanical Gardens, Tanteen, St George’s.
A small group gathered to commemorate the bravery of freedom fighters who fought for their independence from British rule. The nation of India became free from the 200-year British colonisation on 15 August 1947. The road to freedom was led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi during World War I, and Jawaharlal Nehru became India’s first prime minister as an independent nation.
Both Grenadian and Indian flags were raised while national anthems were sung for each country. Notable Indians and Grenadians were honoured during a special award ceremony, recognising their significant contributions to Grenada.
Dr Keshav Mandalaneni was the Master of Ceremony at the event and he shared some Independence Day remarks. The Honorary Consul of India to Grenada, Shadel Nyack Compton, delivered the welcome remarks and His Excellency, A K Sahu, High Commissioner of India to Trinidad & Tobago with responsibility for Grenada, Dominica and Monserrat made a video address. The feature address was given by Hon. Oliver Joseph, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and Caricom Affairs.
High Commissioner His Excellency, A K Sahu reminded the community of its shared resilience, stating that “In this challenging time, we want to remind ourselves of our resilience to gather and move on with renewed hope and work towards a better and brighter future. It is a time to reassure our friends and partners that we will play a constructive role in a time of global crisis.”
Hon Oliver Joseph, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and Caricom Affairs, expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the strong relations of Grenada and India, “Even amidst this global pandemic, India was one of the first G20 countries to donate vaccines to developing countries all over the world to help curb the effects of the deadly Coronavirus. Grenada was privileged to be one of those countries. I wish to reiterate the Government of Grenada’s profound gratitude to the Government and People of the Republic of India for this kind gesture.”
Hon. Joseph added, “Grenada has enjoyed and continues to enjoy a fruitful cooperation with India since the establishment of diplomatic relations on October 1, 1975. The engagement between both countries has been constant through the numerous cooperation initiatives that exist between our countries.”
Four distinguished individuals were awarded for their stellar contributions in their fields of expertise. The awardees were Dr C V Rao; Dr Jennifer Japal-Isaacs; Dr Narasimhan Prabhakar, and Telfor Bedeau.
Dr C V Rao is one of the pillars in the field of medicine and medical education, teaching and training students at St George’s University for 40 years. He was appointed the Dean of University Alumni Affairs in 1983 and was instrumental in establishing the Orphans and Elderly Fund and the Grenada Association of Retired Persons (GARP). Dr Rao was honoured for his valuable contributions to the fields of Medicine and Medical Education,
Dr Jennifer Japal-Isaacs is a medical doctor who specialises in Dermatology and has been in private practice since 1981. She has served as President of the Grenada Medical Association, treasurer and executive member of the Caribbean Dermatology Association, founding member of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and founding member of the Indo-Grenadian Heritage Foundation. Dr Japal-Isaacs has also been a member of the Grenada Music Society and has produced and directed 2 classical concerts. She was honoured for her exemplary service in the fields of dermatology and the arts.
Dr Narasimhan Prabhakar has worked for the Ministry of Health for 10 years and St George’s University for the past 30 years in various capacities during his teaching career. He has also worked in the field of mental health almost all of his life. Dr Prabhakar was honoured for his contributions to the development and progress of mental health, psychiatry and medicine in the tri-island nation of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique.
Telfor Bedeau is a distinguished explorer, cartographer and pioneer of hiking and guided tours in Grenada. He is a natural treasure who has mapped Grenada by hand, navigating every nook and cranny, and has climbed Mount Saint Catherine, the island’s highest peak, 217 times and at one point, twice in one day! Bedeau was honoured for being Grenada’s greatest cartographer, explorer, and eco-tourism advocate.
The awardees were given plaques of appreciation presented by Honorary Consul of India to Grenada, Shadel Nyack Compton and the Honorable Minister Oliver Joseph.
Marlene Neptune delivered the closing remarks to end the celebration.
This special ceremony is now an annual event open to all to celebrate our ancestors fight for freedom and the achievements made following independence.
Office of the Honorary Consul of India to Grenada
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