Assistance in agriculture, healthcare, IT and renewable energy was among the support pledged by India’s High Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, Dr KJ Srinivasa, during his visit this week to the twin island nation.
The Guyana-based diplomat met with Prime Minister Gaston Browne and other government leaders on his three-day trip to discuss collaboration between the two nations for the benefit of both.
Dr Srinivasa urged the government to join the International Solar Alliance which enables member countries to share new technologies in renewable energy.
He also met with various ministers including Health Minister Sir Molwyn Joseph who conveyed his gratitude to India for the 40,000 AstraZeneca vaccines donated in March 2021, the US$1 million aid for upgrading health infrastructure to fight Covid, and the donation of a further US$1.1 million for the reconstruction of the Hanna Thomas Hospital in Barbuda and the Barbuda Post Office. The High Commissioner visited the sister isle on Wednesday to see the effects of India’s generosity for himself.
Dr Srinivasa also visited the University of the West Indies’ campus at Five Islands. He offered to expand collaboration further by signing MoUs with Indian universities and educational institutions and facilitating exchange programmes between the two countries. He emphasised the need for knowledge sharing and training in IT, nursing, pharmaceuticals, maths, medicine and other higher education areas.
The High Commissioner was accompanied to his meetings by local businessman Vijay Shivkumar Tewani, who is of Indian origin and serves as Honorary Consul of India in Antigua and Barbuda.
Tewani told Observer the local Indian community had requested a community centre here, and also for a street to be named after Indian anti-colonial icon Mahatma Gandhi.