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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The community members paid a tribute to the legendary freedom fighter whose 212th birth anniversary fell on January 23.
Members of the Odia community in Dubai marked the Indian Republic Day by recalling the struggles and resilience of Veer Surendra Sai, a freedom fighter, a great leader and revolutionary from Odisha.
The community members paid a tribute to the legendary freedom fighter whose 212th birth anniversary fell on January 23. A cultural programme was organised with powerful audio-visual presentations on his life and times were made by various participants, including children. Floral tributes were offered to the legendary freedom fighter, followed by an extravagant display of Sai's valour, bravery and heroism in the form of speeches and patriotic poetry presentations.
Eminent Odia/Sambalpuri author and dramatist Mangulu Charan Biswal's popular play on Sai was fondly recalled and his special video address from India was played out during the event. Momentous occasions like Sai's first rebellion at the age of 18 and his escape from Hazaribagh Jail and subsequent leadership of the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny in the Central Part of India were highlighted at the programme.
Global Odias for Odisha Development (GOOD) community member, Captain Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, said: "We must remember and respect our heroes and legends. Such a function was much needed to celebrate the life and times of this legendary fighter and spread awareness about his bravery and heroism. It is a small tribute to his great legacy."
He expressed his hope that many more such functions will be organised to honour the brave hearts and other luminaries from Odisha.
Priyadarshee Panigrahi, also from GOOD, said that he had watched the play as a child and was fascinated by his bravery. "The fact that he spent 37 years in jail, probably longer than any other freedom fighter in the world, needed to emphasised and told to the whole world. Sai was also one of the earliest proponents of guerilla warfare and it is this strategy that he used successfully against the British."
Odia community member Manas Panda, who said that Sai was ahead of his times. "We hope that non-resident Indians across the world will get inspired by this event and propagate his inspirational legacy," he said.
The Odia community has submitted a request with the Indian Consulate in Dubai to hang a portrait of freedom fighter Sai on its premises.
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