Heavy Rain, Indomitable Spirit – Manipal Celebrates Independence Day

“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” – Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.

And the student town of Manipal awoke to the country’s 73rd Independence Day amidst heavy rainfall with the annual Independence Day celebrations to be held on the Edu building in the morning itself.

Even though the primary function was to start at 8:30 am, our team got to get a peek at all the preparations that come before the final event as we reported to the NCC Unit near the 4th Block Hostels right next to the “Aashiq Lane”. Reaching at 6:40 am sharp, we saw the NCC Candidates were already having their breakfast after their first practice session, and their dedication did not falter due to the heavy rain as they kept up with their practice throughout.

The NCC Contingent for the March Past|  Photo: Sitanshu Sah

At 7:30 am, they had their flag hoisting ceremony with great pomp after the national anthem as all the cadets stood in the heavy rain with nothing but respect for the flag.

Within half an hour of that, the transport arrived in the form of a School bus and an Army van to transport the contingent to the Edu building grounds where the rest of the Contingents, 22 in total from all the colleges of MAHE as well as the security forces taking part in the March Past parade.

Specially Decorated Car for the Guard of Honor | Photo: Sitanshu Sah

People turned out in droves even in the heavy rain as the Pro-Chancellor of MAHE, Dr. Poornima Baliga, the Chief Guest of the event, raised the tri-colored flag in the presence of the Dr. H. Vinod Bhat, Vice-Chancellor, MAHE, Manipal on the massive mast of the Edu building followed by the inaugural speech.

Picture Courtesy – Sitanshu Sah

The march-past began after that, with the students of each college dressed differently from each other in vibrant and lively attires.

Vice-Chancellor Dr. H. Vinod Bhat giving out the participation Prizes | Photo Sitanshu Sah

The 22 contingent march-past continued with great pomp despite the torrential downpour.  You can never really put a price on dedication which every single participant showed in the event. The one round march took around 10 minutes to complete, with The School of Life Science taking the First Prize, followed by School of Nursing and Manipal Institute of Technology bagging the Second and Third Prize respectively, as every team who participated got an Award of Participation.

Dr. Narayan Sabahit, Registrar, MAHE | Photo: Sitanshu Sah

After the prize distribution ceremony, sweets were distributed to everyone present on the Edu Grounds. The event drew to close following speeches by dignitaries around 9:30 am.

Dr. Poornima Baliga, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, MAHE
Dr. Poornima Baliga, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, MAHE | Photo: Sitanshu Sah

The entire celebrations went according to schedule despite the torrential downpour, which is a commendable thing in itself.

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Small size, high spirit

No matter if it’s the 73rd Independence Day of the 100th one, as long as people show the dedication and respect to the country as they showed on this day, there is no doubt that the country will indeed go forward and everything Jawaharlal Nehriji mentioned in the Tryst of Destiny speech will indeed come to fruit.

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