On the second and final day of his official visit to Nepal, Foreign Secretary of India Harsh Vardhan Shringla addressed a limited gathering of leading civil society members on India-Nepal relations at an event hosted by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) in Kathmandu. His speech laid out the foundational multi-dimensional strength of the ties between the two countries and the vision for taking it forward.
In the afternoon, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla travelled to Gorkha and inaugurated three schools constructed with Indian reconstruction assistance viz. Shree Mahalaxmi, Shree Ratnalaxmi and Shree Tara Secondary Schools, in the presence of Mr. Ram Krishna Sapkota, Secretary, National Reconstruction Authority of Nepal.
There are about 1600 students in these three schools who now have the advantage of the newly constructed earthquake resilient school buildings. These schools are part of 71 educational institutes across nine districts being built under Government of India grant assistance of US $ 50 million for reconstruction in the education sector. The nine beneficiary districts are Gorkha, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap, Dolakha, Kavrepalanchowk, Dhading and Kathmandu.
Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Secretary emphasized that education is the best investment in the future of the country and its people. Since 2003, Government of India has built nearly 270 educational campuses across Nepal under High Impact Community Development Projects scheme, complementing the efforts of Government of Nepal in this area. Shri Shringla encouraged Nepali students to take advantage of over 3000 scholarships being provided by Government of India to contribute in the development of their country and to further strengthen India-Nepal partnership.
As part of its post-earthquake assistance to Nepal, Government of India has substantially fulfilled its commitment in the housing sector with over 46,500 houses handed over to beneficiaries in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts. India is also working with Government of Nepal on reconstruction of 147 health posts and hospitals in ten districts of Nepal under a grant of US $ 50 million and 28 cultural heritage sites in 8 districts of Nepal under another grant of US $ 50 million.
In his last engagement before leaving Nepal that also signifies the diverse bilateral development and cultural cooperation, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla virtually inaugurated the Tashop (Tare) Gompa monastery constructed at Shree Kharka village in Manang district. The event was attended by Shri Yadav Prasad Koirala, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Nepal and Rev. Acharya Lama Norbu Sherpa, President of Nepal Buddhist Federation along with the representatives of Khangsar Sewa Samiti. Foreign Secretary conveyed his pleasure at the Government of India’s role in restoring this ancient monastery in the Manang district and in contributing to the preservation of the rich Buddhist heritage of this Himalayan region. The restoration of Monastery was taken up as a High Impact Community Development Project under grant assistance on the request of the local Khangsar village and authorities.
After completing his two-day official visit, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla returned back to New Delhi in the late afternoon today.