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Ambassador's remarks on the 72nd Republic Day of India
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Remarks by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj on the occasion of 72nd Republic Day of India

26 January 2021

On 20 January, the Government of India provided 150,000 doses of the ‘Made In India’ vaccine to the Royal Government of Bhutan as a testimony to the special relationship and uniquely close friendship between India and Bhutan. I had the honour of handing over the vaccine consignment to the Prime Minister of Bhutan Dr. Lotay Tshering in a ceremony held at Paro airport on 20 January 2021. An Indian aircraft AN32 carried the entire consignment of ‘Made In India’ vaccines into Bhutan.

Bhutan was the first country among our neighbours and friends to receive the vaccine from India. Vaccines in Bhutan were received within five days of the launch of the world’s largest vaccination drive in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister of India had stated on that occasion: “We are committed that India's vaccines, our production capacity, serve the interest of the whole of humanity.” That promise as you all know, was kept.

Prior to the delivery of vaccines, a training programme, covering administrative and operational aspects, was conducted on 19-20 January 2021 for immunization managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers from Bhutan, both at national and provincial levels. India had also provided training to Bhutanese healthcare professionals to enhance and strengthen their clinical capabilities, under the Partnerships for Accelerating Clinical Trials programme.

As a reflection of the special bonds of trust and understanding between India and Bhutan that have existed over decades, the Government of India had earlier also handed over ten consignments of medical supplies, portable X-Ray machine, essential medicines and medical equipment.

We have also ensured seamless and uninterrupted flow of essential and non-essential commodities during the pandemic. We have promoted Bhutanese Agri exports to India, opened 5 new trade routes, posted a Plant Quarantine Officer at Jaigaon, launched Phase II of the Rupay Card and have sent 4 of their Space engineers to India as we will jointly launch a Bhutanese Satellite into Space in 2021.

Our leaders at top most levels have interacted on 3 occasions through 2020, 2 Telephone Conversations and one Virtual Meeting.

In short, we can all take collective pride in the good work that is being done by India in Bhutan. Each one of you contributes to that, and I am deeply grateful for that invaluable support. Today, let us promise ourselves afresh to work with full soul, love, grace and dignity for our nation.

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26.1.2021

 
 
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