Antananarivo: A humanitarian assistance of 5000 metric tonnes of rice was handed over to the President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina today by the Ambassador of India Abhay Kumar in an official ceremony at the Iavoloha Palace in Madagascar.
On receiving the consignment, the President said: “It is with love that we welcome you today, Honourable Ambassador of India, for the official handing over of the Government of India’s donation of 5,000 tonnes of rice to the people of Madagascar. This marks the unity between us which will be shown to the Malagasy people especially those affected by the storm and floods that occurred in the country a few months ago. I would like to thank you personally for the aid and gifts offered by the government of the Republic of India because there is also a saying that true friends know each other in difficult times and that the Republic of India is a true friend.”
“In the same way, rice and water are always together in the rice field or in the pot, and India and Madagascar always stand together side by side, especially in difficult times like this. And here I would like to express my thanks to you because there are still many Malagasy children who still need to walk for hours to get to school, and that is why we thank you for giving many bicycles to deserving students across Madagascar. President Rajoelina continued, it will change their lives and make them want to go to school.”
In a tweet, President Andry Rajoelina said – “Today is an important day for relations between India and Madagascar. I thank the Indian government for this donation of 5000T of rice, which reflects the brotherhood between the Indian people and the Malagasy people.”
The Malagasy language has over 300 Sanskrit words
Speaking on this occasion, the Ambassador of India to Madagascar said: “India and Madagascar, two Indian Ocean neighbours, share ancient cultural connections which are evident in the presence of over 300 Sanskrit words in the Malagasy language. India has always stood with Madagascar and will continue to do so. Today is a historic day in bilateral relations between the two countries as this is for the first time that India has donated such a large amount of rice to Madagascar following the donation of 15000 bicycles last month on the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.”
He added -“I would to thank the Government and people of Madagascar for the warmth and support I have received during the past three and half years of my stay in this beautiful Indian Ocean island as I conclude my tenure here.”
External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India Dr S. Jaishankar said in a tweet on this occasion—“India has always stood with Madagascar, our Indian Ocean neighbour. Will continue to work for our SAGAR vision for a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. #NeighbourhoodFirst”
In April 2022, Foreign Minister of Madagascar Richard Randriamandrato visited India for the first time to participate in the 7th edition of Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi from 25-27 April 2022. During the visit, the Minister interacted with the Prime Minister of India and also met the EAM of India.
India has always been among the first responders when it comes to assisting the people of Madagascar in such humanitarian crises. In March 2021, a humanitarian aid of 1000 metric tonnes of rice and 100,000 tablets of HCQ was brought by INS Jalashwa to help Madagascar in dealing with the drought situation in South Madagascar. India has always been a reliable partner of Madagascar in times of need. In March 2020, INS Shardul visited the Port of Antsiranana with relief material comprising 600 tonnes of rice on behalf of India to deliver quick relief to the flood victims of Madagascar. It was the biggest relief load ever carried by any Indian warship, loaded, transported and unloaded in record time, for quick relief assistance. In April 2022, India donated 50 computers to the largest high school in Madagascar—Lycee Moderne, Ampefiloha.
The supplies of food assistance and support for capacity building to Madagascar aligned with the collaborative vision of SAGAR and India’s time-tested role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region.
– global bihari bureau