Kathmandu, January 26 The 71st Republic Day of India was celebrated at the Embassy of India in Kathmandu amid a special function today. The celebration began with hoisting of the national flag by Charge d’ Affaires Ajay Kumar, who then read out the message of the President of India for the occasion. Kumar felicitatedeight widows and five next of kin of deceased soldiers by disbursing their dues worth Rs 5.97 crore and a blanket to each. Similarly, the embassy gifted books to 51 libraries and educational institutions spread across all the provinces of Nepal. The embassy also gifted 30 ambulances and six buses to various hospitals, non-profit charitable organisations and educational institutions of Nepal thereby reaffirming the Government of India’s commitment to partner with Nepal in its journey to socio-economic development. The Government of India has so far gifted 782 ambulances and 154 buses to various hospitals, non-profit charitable organisations and educational institutions of 77 districts in Nepal, expanding healthcare access for thousands of Nepali people and serving the educational needs of thousands of students. The 71st Republic Day celebration was attended by members of the Indian community in Nepal and friends of India apart from Embassy officials and their families. The celebration witnessed rendition of patriotic songs by students of Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Kathmandu, Kendriya Vidyalaya and Modern Indian School. The ceremony concluded with a mesmerising performance by the Nepali Army Band. Later in the day, Charge d’ Affaires Ajay hosted a reception at India House, Kathmandu. Vice-president of Nepal Nanda Bahadur Pun graced the occasion as chief guest. The event was attended by more than 1,500 dignitaries, including senior political leaders and public personalities.