Patil inaugurates Indian Islamic Centre, says it reflects strength of Indian DiasporaBy ANI
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
ABU DHABI - President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, who is on her maiden visit to the Gulf region, inaugurated the Indian Islamic Centre (IIC) here on Tuesday.
Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for the IIC in 1982, but the construction of the complex did not begin until 2008 owing to a lack of funds. The center was established in 1971, but did not have its own office building.
“The Center has an illustrious history. Its foundation stone was laid in 1982 by the then Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi, who strengthened the secular fabric of India, that we are privileged to witness today,” President Patil said.
“The Indian Islamic Centre is a tribute to the collective efforts of community leaders. It is, indeed, a reflection of the strength of character of the Indian Diaspora, in nurturing its links with the mother country, while successfully adapting to the local conditions in the host countries,” she said.
“The Centre will no doubt, prove to be a valuable cultural bridge between the UAE and India, and stand as a symbol of our celebrated links. While inculcating pride among the community members about their Indian heritage, I hope the Center will also serve to highlight among the Emirati community, the close and friendly ties between our two countries,” Patil added.
Late President of UAE Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan donated the land for the IIC in 1973 for the Indian community.
The IIC is a religious and cultural organization concentrating on humanitarian services, communal harmony and enlightening the India expatriates on the law and order of this country. The center has also served as a meaningful bridge between the UAE society and the Indian community
The center has been built at a cost of 12 million Dirhams (three million dollars), and the new building is a milestone for the IIC, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2011.
The center works for communal harmony by involving all Indian religious communities in its activities.
The center also runs a school that takes minimum fees from pupils from middle income families from the community. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)