In a heart-warming gesture that celebrates the diversity and cultural richness of India, the Government of India is delighted to extend a special invitation to four couples from the fishermen’s community in the vibrant state of Goa to join in the 77th Independence Day celebrations in New Delhi.
This exceptional invitation is a testament to the government's recognition and appreciation of the dedication and contributions of traditional fishermen, who have played an integral role in sustaining India's coastal heritage and economy for generations.
The four honoured couples are Vasant Pednekar and Lakshmi Pednekar; Francisco Fernandes and Dr Renuka Fernandes; Sabi Fernandes and Filomena Veronica Lorenco; and Jacinto Guriao and Caseel Guriao. They represent the spirit and resilience of Goa's fishing community.
Dr Renuka Fernandes, whose husband runs a fishing business in Benaulim, expressed her joy and gratitude, stating that experiencing the Independence Day ceremony in person is an indescribable moment for her and her family.
Sabi Fernandes, echoing the sentiments of his fellow fishermen, lauded this recognition of their generational occupation and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant for the honour.
Francisco Fernandes, affectionately known as Pele, conveyed his deep appreciation for the government's acknowledgement of the traditional fishermen, or rapankars, and their invaluable contributions to the coastal way of life.
Filomena Lorensa, representing the fishing families, extended her gratitude to the government for the kind invitation to partake in the Independence Day celebrations in Delhi.
This year's Independence Day celebrations hold special significance as India commemorates 76 years of freedom. In this spirit, the government has extended invitations to approximately 1,800 special guests from various walks of life who have contributed significantly to the nation's progress.
Among them are sarpanches of Vibrant Villages, teachers, nurses, farmers, Shram Yogis involved in the Central Vista Project, khadi sector workers, national award-winning school teachers, Border Roads Organisation workers, and those who have contributed to the Amrut Sarovar and Har Ghar Jal Yojana projects across the nation.