By Abraham Olatokunbo
The High Commission of India in Nigeria has celebrated the 71st Foundation day of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
The day was celebrated on 9th April 2021 at the High Commission premises with full fervour and enthusiasm, but with restriction in numbers of guests due to COVID-19 and the need to respect its’ protocol.
ICCR was founded in 1950 with the objective of fostering and strengthening cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and the world.
It has been an important part of Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India for strengthening the external cultural relations of India.
The ICCR grants scholarships to foreign students for pursuing undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD courses in the field of science, humanities, commerce, and engineering. In addition to the academic subjects, ICCR also offers scholarship to foreign students to study Indian culture such as dance, music, theatre, performing arts, sculpture, Indian languages, and Indian cuisine.
Present at the occasion are Mrs. Memunat Ladidu-Lah, Director, International Cultural Relations Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe represented by Dr. Hajara Njidda, Director, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and Ms. Dorothy Esiri, Director, Office of the DG, Centre for Management Development (CMD).
Other than these, dignitaries’ members of Indian diaspora, media persons and ICCR alumni participated in the event, which started with a video message from President, ICCR, Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe.
The occasion also marked the launch of Sanskrit learning app “Little Guru”.
On the occasion, Acting High Commissioner, Shri VSDL Surendra stated that ICCR is all about cultivating an enlightened understanding of Indian culture and when the entire Global community is facing an unprecedented challenge, feeling lonely and disconnected, the message of Indian philosophy i.e., “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or the world is a family has become more relevant than any time in the past.
“Over the years, through this cross fertilization of ideas, ideals and cultures, ICCR has taken our millennia old civilizational and cultural values to the world and has fostered the goal of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” the world as a family,” he said.