Maroon and white balloons symbolic of the national flag, fireworks, music, dances and an exotic ambience set the tone for the yearlong festivities of the countdown to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as the Indian community hosted a carnival on Friday.
The event at the Ideal Indian School grounds was in support and celebration of the mega sporting event to be held from November 21 next year.
Indian ambassador Dr Deepak Mittal inaugurated the carnival exhorting the community to uphold the age old Indian principle of world as one family, ‘Vasudevakutumbakam.’ Indian Sports Centre president Dr Mohan Thomas led the activities and highlighted the community’s support for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
A video featuring football action scenes and stadiums was released by Khalid Fakhroo, head of recreation at QatarEnergy. A number of dignitaries from various organisations including the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy were present. Prominent community leaders and office bearers of the apex bodies also attended the event.
Speaking at the event, ambassador Mittal said that the event was an expression of the support of the Indian community for the successful hosting of the World Cup 2022.
“It is a momentous occasion for the country and the residents and being the largest community, Indian community is here to show our solidarity and support for the major global sporting event. India was the only non-Arab community to host the Arab Cup trophy which is a great recognition for our country. Today’s event is a manifestation of what the Indian community stands for in support of our host country, our second home. We are hopeful that many more Indian visitors will come to Qatar to witness the gala event. This carnival will raise many eyeballs back in India about what is in store for the visitors during the World Cup.”
Dr Thomas said that the carnival was the first of many events in store to celebrate the World Cup. “We have lined up several programmes to highlight the World Cup and celebrate it all through next year. We will have more awareness campaigns about Qatar and the World Cup back in India with several initiatives in the first half of next year. We will also provide more information about Qatar and its distinct features in the campaign,” he explained.
The programme included a traditional Keralite percussion ensemble, martial arts demonstration, magic show, music and dances. A good number of visitors thronged the venue from early evening There were lucky draws with attractive prizes. A team of Indian doctors and nurses, who enforced Covid-19 protocols, were also prepared to provide emergency medical aid.