The day after countrywide lockdown was announced, India was the first country to reach out to its trusted neighbour Bangladesh in combating coronavirus.
The first batch of humanitarian aid was dispatched to the neighbouring countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Seychelles & Mauritius. India has always been a first responder to any crisis in the region and has always extended a helping hand.
According to Bangladesh expert Gautam Lahiri, “Before China could reach India swiftly handed over 30,000 surgical masks and 15,000 headcovers to Bangladesh to prevent spread of Corona virus. Indian High commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Das Ganguly handed over all these items to Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momin on March 25th.”
Interestingly, Lahiri says, “Within hours of India’s aid reaching Dhaka, on March 26th China sent 15,000 N95 mask and 1000 infrared thermometers. Showing an urgency Chinese Ambadassador Li Jimming handed over the kits and gears to Director of Bangladesh Health ministry AK Azad at the Shahjalal airport itself, the moment the kits arrived. And the Chinese authority made it sure to have maximum publicity in Bangladesh media.”
“When India Government had decided to export Hydrochoroquinine medicine to the USA ,the same time it had decided to send this precious medicine to its neighboring countries including Bangladesh. India has tried to help its neighbour that they are with its friends in the need of hour,” he adds.
Not only this when India had announced a complete lockdown of the country and sealed the borders had shown a special gestures to allow the Bangladesh Government to take back its citizens who were stranded in different cities of India.
Recently, “As a special gesture India Government had to accept the unusual demand of Dhaka, to make special arrangement to help ferry stranded people from that country to the nearest airport. This was done in coordination with the Dhaka Mission in New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs. As a result more than 400 Bangladeshi had returned to their country by charter private flight. There are many Indians stranded in Bangladesh and they are also putting pressure on Indian High Commission at Dhaka but the Indian government is trying to convince them to stay back there till the lockdown is lifted. Though it is necessary as a basic precaution, the government of Bangladesh is putting a lot of pressure urging New Delhi to take them back,” Lahiri adds.