Against COVID-19, liberté, égalité and fraternité !
The French National Day is commonly known as Bastille Day and is celebrated every year on 14th July, symbolically marking the end of monarchy in France as the storming on 14th July 1789 of the prison that held captive revolutionaries that fought against the abuse of power. The episode is forever remembered as a turning point of the French Revolution.
For French citizens it is not only a holiday but also a day celebrated as a sign of national union. The values Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité (liberty, equality, fraternity) are embodied on this day by the public balls and popular parties. The official function, of course, is in the form of a military parade on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the French President along with other French officials and foreign guests. A detachment from the Indian army paraded for the first time on foreign soil in 2009 on the invitation of the French government, underscoring warming relations between the two countries.
Just like in all cities where a French foreign diplomatic mission is present, on this occasion, Bangalore usually witnesses a reception hosted by the Consulate General of France in the company of its partners, associates and friends from all walks of life.
However, given the situation in 2020, this get-together will take a completely different shape.
Like many meetings nowadays, this too shall be a virtual one with the screening of videos showcasing programs and activities in fields as diverse as science, arts, culture, cinema, tourism, education, business and politics. This would be further enhanced with testimonials from eminent Indian personalities on the following platforms:
Facebook @france.bangalore, @FranceinIndia
Twitter @BangaloreFrance, @FranceinIndia
We are proud to have onboard this project local figures with national and international reach within the jurisdiction of the French Consulate in Bangalore across Karnataka - namely industrial stalwarts like Mrs. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Mr. T V Mohandas Pai, administrative achievers Mrs. Nirupama Rao and writers like Mrs. Shoba Narayan.
All of them express their love of French culture and interest in the values upheld by France. Mrs. Mazumdar-Shaw says that today “the French motto of Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité is so very relevant”. And Mr. Pai stresses that “France is also a role model in the way we live, in the way we handle culture” and “the perfect place for new start-ups in technology and to make sure that you can use technology to make innovation happen and make the world a better place.”
Mrs. Menon Rao highlights, "The friendship between India and France is strong and steadfast and enduring. And it is that friendship also that we celebrate today."
And Mrs. Shoba Narayan, who is an invited author to Salon du Livre 2020, tells us about all the good and tasty things that attract her to France.
From Telangana, Shri K T Rama Rao, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industries, IT, Urban Development, sent greetings on this special occasion.
The full transcript of the videos is down below.
The Consulate General of France is also proud to announce that this year’s celebration will have a strong expression of solidarity towards organizations that work for the betterment of the most underprivileged in India, whether in the form of supporting access to education for children, or feeding the poor, or training those in extreme poverty.
There are five associations, across Karnataka and Telangana, towards which the Consul General has extended assistance in the form of food essentials, books and stationery items. These are Manamadurai Rural Development Trust (MRDT) in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Marica Higher Educational Society in Hyderabad, Pawmencap in Hyderabad, Objectif France Inde in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and Sunshine for a School in Bangalore.
This would be done in the form of donations from the Consulate General of France and French firms and community members. This initiative stems especially in the backdrop of the current Covid-19 crisis.
Besides, French companies have invested significant amount of money through CSR to help their communities and local NGOs. We can for example mention the wonderful work done by Saint Gobain, Decathlon, Alstom or Société Générale who have a strong commitment with their communities and have setup dedicated teams to take care of CSR projects. During the current crisis, our companies have used their CSR fund to help India’s fight against this terrible virus. 2+ Crore have been injected by our companies into the PM Care Fund; equipment such as masks and respirators, have been donated to hospitals, and funds have been raised to finance several NGO.
For all the team of the Consulate general, this period of COVID-19 crisis has meant an increased workload as well as a radical change in their way of working and daily tasks : from delivering visas to helping stranded French tourists reach and board evacuation planes, or helping residents solve their doubts about the impact of COVID on their daily lives.
We are all very proud we have managed to help our community and our nationals, and to do so in what sometimes were difficult working conditions.
The full transcript of the videos
- Transcript of all videos
- (PDF - 78.5 kb)