File photo: President Kovind. Photograph:( Reuters )
'I thank you for your partnership and projecting our shared values. You represent the route to help us achieve a better understanding of Chile and Chileans. And through your affinity with an interest in India you will be able to help us to project India in Chile,'he added.
President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the Indian community in Santiago on Sunday and said it has integrated well into the Chilean society and established a good reputation for itself and for India.
“You have maintained your cultural roots and ethos here also. We tremendously value your involvement and initiatives organised by our government through our embassies. Such interaction defines the partnership between all of you and us back at home. This kind of partnership is not only of mutual benefit but is also a crucial building block on our route to the future,” the President said.
“I thank you for your partnership and projecting our shared values. You represent the route to help us achieve a better understanding of Chile and Chileans. And through your affinity with an interest in India you will be able to help us to project India in Chile,” he added.
During his speech, President Kovind noted that his state visit to Chile is important for many reasons. “I am the third Indian President to visit Chile,” he said. “The other reasons include, the 70th anniversary of India-Chile diplomatic relations, the 70th anniversary of the Indian Constitution, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev-the founder of Sikhism.”
President Kovind said that he will be paying tributes to the Father of the Nation at his statue in the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial in the Chilean capital later this evening and tomorrow he is scheduled to speak on the legacy and life of the Mahatma at the University of Chile.
“As the world around us is increasingly falling prey to negative forces of terrorism, violence and greed, universal messages of peace and tolerance by Guru Nanak Dev and Mahatma Gandhi are increasingly relevant, along with the examples of constitutional democracies based on the rule of law, equality and fundamental freedom represented by both India and Chile,” he added.
Chile went through its election process at the end of 2017, while India will be shortly going through general elections which will lead to the formation of the 70th Lok Sabha. Over 900 million electorates will cast their votes in what would be the largest democratic exercise on the planet, the President said.
"In 2022, India will commemorate the 75th anniversary of independence. The country is marching on a transformative journey towards a prosperous 21st century New India," the President stated.
The Government of India has implemented various initiatives such as the Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities, Goods and Services Tax system, Clean Ganga Mission, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Jan Dhan Yojna, Ayushman Bharat (healthcare scheme), Ujjwala Yojana and many others aimed at unleashing a transformative economic growth and social change for ensuring that the roots of progress to reach out to all corners of the country and all sections of the society, he added.
“We have also made significant strides in science and technology with successful Mangalyaan Mission (MOM) and launching a record number of 104 satellites in a single mission. We have achieved major feeds in space explorations. We are now progressing towards mission Gaganyaan -the Indian human space flight,” President Kovind said.
“In our quest for development and progress, the overseas Indian community is an invaluable partner. We appreciate your contribution and cherish your success and achievements,” he added.
A number of initiatives such as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Know India Programme, Scholarships for Diaspora Children and Bharat Ko Janiye quiz have been implemented for facilitating engagement with the Indian Diaspora. The Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi is a one-stop resource center for the Indian Diaspora. The Indian government has also rescued around 4000 people from different crisis-struck nations in the last four years, the President noted.
President Kovind further stated that he will be meeting his Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera tomorrow and hoped to have fruitful and productive discussions that would benefit the bilateral relations between the two countries in a constructive and mutually beneficial way.
“In the preliminary discussions, we have already identified focal areas of mutual interest ranging from outer space to health. We are also keen to strengthen our business engagements from IT, solar energy, mining and beyond,” the President said.
President Kovind, who is on a three-day visit to Chile that culminates on April 4, is also slated to address the India-Chile Business Forum tomorrow.
In his address to the diaspora here, the President asked the Indian community to communicate with their children in any regional languages of India in order to ensure that the upcoming generation does not forget its cultural and ethical roots.
President Kovind is currently on the last leg of his three-nation tour. Prior to Chile, the President visited Croatia and Bolivia from March 25th to March 30th.
In his earlier trips, India and Bolivia signed eight Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in diverse sectors, including culture, diplomatic visa, diplomatic academies, mining, space, traditional medicine, Bi-Oceanic Railway project, and International Solar Alliance (ISA).