On 15 August H. E. Mr. Sanjay Rana, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Republic of Bulgaria, and his wife, Ms. Barbara Jaworska,

hosted a reception at their residence in Boyana on the occasion of the national holiday of the country. This year India is celebrating its 76th Independence Day. The reception was attended by ambassadors, diplomats, representatives of the administration, business and media, friends of India.
After listening to the anthems of India and Bulgaria, H. E. Mr. Sanjay Rana addressed his guests:

Namaskar, Dober Vecher!

Dear honoured Guests,

I welcome and thank each one of you for joining us as India celebrates the 75th anniversary of its Independence.

India has come a long way in these 75 years. Since the time of gaining freedom from colonial rule in August 1947, it has grown to become the world 6th largest economy and the fastest growing big economy which is a motor of global growth. 

As we speak, a new India is taking shape as a model of progress, inclusiveness, and sustainable development. A new enthusiasm is visible as the whole country celebrates this anniversary as a "Grand festival of Independence" called "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav". If one would visit India, you would be amazed to see the joy among the people as Indian tricolours are fluttering in every nook and corner of the country as a part of "Har Ghar Tiranga". 

Though the last two years were difficult for everyone globally, India’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic has been exemplary. We were able to undertake the biggest vaccination drive in human history with vaccines manufactured in the country itself. Last month we crossed the 2 billion mark in cumulative vaccine coverage.

On the economic front also, India has been able to get back on track and is now moving forward. During the last few years, unprecedented progress has been made in the development of physical and digital infrastructure. The success of Indian start-ups, especially the growing number of unicorns is a shining example of our industrial progress. 

Innovative welfare initiatives have brought transformation in healthcare, education as well as governance. Programmes to provide universal access to housing, electricity, gas, water and medical treatment have enhanced the ease of living. In matter of governance, the Indian government has worked consistently to put emphasis on people-centric approach with the motto "Sabka Saath - Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas" which means Everyone's development - everyone’s trust - everyone’s effort.

The Government of India has also been especially keen to enhance the ease of doing business. This has involved cutting red-tape and abolishing archaic laws. Today, India is seen as a land of opportunities for many reasons specially for its large and talented human capital pool, ease of doing business; Growth in economy and progress in technological areas such as IT and Pharma. Together, these factors have helped India achieve record levels of FDI as well as record levels of exports of services and products.

Globally, India is ready to play its part in solution of shared challenges. We consider conserving water, soil and bio-diversity as our duty towards our children. With our traditional and earth friendly life style, Indians are making every possible effort to make our earth cleaner and greener. We increased our Solar energy capacity by about 18 times. We have reached the target of getting 40% of our installed power generation capacity from non-fossil-fuels ahead of its schedule. As India gets ready to fullfill its commitments to achieve Net Zero by 2070, Prime Minister Narender Modi has called for each one of us to live in an environmentally conscious way to protect nature.

At the global level India has taken the lead in creation of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and the International Solar Alliance or the ISA. India is working towards – One Sun, One World, One Grid. India is part of select group of countries participating in the ITER project which is working to harness the power of nuclear fusion to be the energy source of the future. In the realm of Space, India continues to make important strides and is preparing for a series of space missions, including manned Space Mission "Gaganyaan".

Under its "neighbourhood-first" policy, India continues to selflessly assist and help its neighbours as a matter of priority for supply of essential goods and humanitarian assistance, developing infrastructure and building developmental projects.

India has consistently upheld support for international law, including the UN Charter, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states. It has faithfully advocated peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law. In international conflicts, it has consistently called for cessation of violence, return to dialogue and supported diplomatic solutions.

Currently, India as a member of the UN Security council plays an active role in maintenance of international peace and security. Starting December 2022, India will be chairing the G-20 which has emerged as the most important grouping for handling global crises and challenges of all sorts. 

I am happy to note that India- Bulgaria relations continue to grow in all areas. Besides the traditional areas of trade and investment, we are keen to enhance our cooperation in research and innovation. We see immense synergies for our companies and institutions to work together in areas like green hydrogen, electric vehicles, batteries, recycling of e-waste, in defence production.

We see Bulgaria as one of our close friends in the European Union which is a strategic partner for India. Following up on a successful India-EU leaders Meeting in May 2021, both sides have restarted their negotiations for free trade and investment protection agreements. India-EU Trade and Technology Council was launched to give direction to our emerging cooperation, particularly, in connectivity, digital cooperation and clean energy.

In the end, I would like to say that as India moves towards the next milestone of 100 years of Independence, we see the next 25 years as "Amrit Kaal", an important period when India would achieve new resolutions to realise its true potential.

Thank you!

After His Excellency's speech, the guests enjoyed the performance of Indian dances by Katya Tosheva. Later, in the cool of the garden of the residence, involved in vivid conversations, they tasted the specialties of the unique Indian cuisine. Everyone left with a wonderful mood and souvenir gifts specially prepared for the 75th anniversary of Independence.

Photos – courtesy of the Embassy of the Republic of India to the Republic of Bulgaria.

Above: H. E. Mr. Sanjay Rana, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Republic of Bulgaria, and his wife, Ms. Barbara Jaworska