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Ambassador's Speech on 72nd Republic Day of India

Posted on: January 26, 2021 | Back | Print

Excellency, Mr. Rivo Rakotovao, Hon’ble President of the Senate, 

H.E. Lt. General Rakotonirina Leon Jean Richard, Hon’ble Minister of National Defence,

H.E. Ramaherijaona Andriamanohisoa, Minister of Posts, Telecommunication and Digital Development,

H.E. Mrs. Rahanirina B. Vahinala, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development,


Excellencies Ambassadors and the Head of the International Organisations


Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Government

Dear members of the diplomatic corps

Honorable guests,


I would like to welcome you on this auspicious occasion of the 72nd Republic Day of India. India attained her Independence on 15 August 1947. However, the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country's transition towards becoming an independent republic. India is the world’s largest and most vibrant democracy in the world today at the Constitution of India, our guiding force.


Our maritime links with Madagascar dates to ancient times. In the late 18th century the first group of Indians mainly from the State of Gujarat landed on the western shores of Madagascar. Our diplomatic relations started in 1954 when Indian opened a consulate in Madagascar which was turned into an Embassy after the Independence of Madagascar in 1960.


India and Madagascar have cordial and friendly bilateral relations. We have several ongoing cooperation programs which are beneficial for the people of Madagascar in the critical areas of agriculture, health, education, energy, seucirty among others. Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind visited Madagascar in 2018.


India has always stood with Madagascar in its hour of need. Distribution of humanitarian relief assistance to the flood-affected population in the North of Madagascar under Operation Vanilla by INS Airavat (January- February 2020), donation of 600 tonnes of rice to the Government of Madagascar through INS Shardul (March 2020), visit of INS Kesari for supply of essential medicines in Madagascar’s fight against COVID-19 in May 2020 are some examples. India is also planning to send aid to drought victims in the South of Madagascar.


Madagascar is one of the few countries which have received the radio therapy machine Bhabatron-II from India. The machine was donated in accordance with the announcements made during visit of Hon’ble President of India in March 2018. A large number of cancer patients have benefited from it.


India remains favoured destination for higher education among Malagasy students. More than 100 scholarships have been offered under ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) and 23 scholarships under ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) in 2020-21.India supplied 100,000 academic text books in 37 titles to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Madagascar in January 2020. MoU on promoting tele-education and tele-medicine in Madagascar is also under consideration.


India also contributed towards capacity building in Madagascar by training Solar Mamas and has supplied solar lamps to Madagascar. India has set up CGARD (Centre for Geo-informatics Applications in Rural Development) Centre in 2016 where two Indian scientists have been working for research, designing, modelling and application development of Geospatial Technology Applications for the rural development sector in Madagascar.


As Ambassador of India to Madagascar, I feel privileged to take this partnership forward to greater heights. I would like to thank the Government of Madagacar for facilitating India’s entry into Indian Ocean Commission, Djibouti Code of Conduct and supporting India’s candidature for the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council among others.


I would like to congratulate H.E. President Andry Rajoelina and his  dynamic team for successfully fighting against COVID-19 pandemic. We would not be able to do this function today without the valiant efforts made by the government and people of Madagascar to contain the pandemic.


I have spent close to two years in Madagascar now and have had the opportunity to see different parts of the country and can say with certainty, what a beautiful and blessed country is Madagascar. Article 51A(g) of India’s constitution asks every citizen to protect environment and wild life. It is with this great sense of pride of serving India’s Ambassador to Madagascar I would like to share that we became the first Embassy in Madagascar October 2020 to go completely on solar. Madagascar is not merely a country but also a biodiversity hotspot. No doubt, it is known as the eighth continent because of its unique biodiversity. We should strive to protect and preserve it for the future generations.


Excellency, Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank you all for your presence here today and request you to kindly join us for refreshments.