INS Shardul which had sailed out from Kochi carrying 600 tonnes of rice has entered the entered Port Antsiranana, Madagascar and the humanitarian aid sent from India has been handed over to the authorities. At a ceremony the Indian side was represented by the Ambassador of India to Madagascar, Abhay Kumar and the ship’s Commanding Officer, Cdr Abhishek Pathak. And the 600 tonnes was handed over to Madagascar’s Foreign Minister, Dr Tehindrazanarivelo Djacoba in the presence of high ranking officials from that country’s Defence forces and other organizations.
India’s envoy to Madagascar Abhay Kumar while handing over the aid stated that the rice brought on board a warship, was the fastest way the relief could be delivered in the Indian Ocean.
Describing India as a true friend, the foreign minister of Madagascar wished the ties between the two countries to reach newer heights and he also thanked the government and the Indian Navy.
The Indian rice is expected to be distributed to the affected people who were affected by Cyclone Diane which had hit the southern African island nation in January this year.
India was the first country to send in immediate relief material onboard INS Airavat, a large amphibious ship which was on a mission-based deployment near Seychelles was diverted on January 30 to provide relief.
The 600 tonne rice aid on board a warship, according to the Indian Navy is the largest humanitarian aid so far from India to Madagascar.
According to the Indian Navy “For the quick relief first time ever it was loaded and transported and unloaded in record time.”
More about INS Shardul
The warship is 125 meters long and has a displacement of 5600 tonnes.
Also, on board, there are 320 officers and sailor.
After completion of its humanitarian mission, the ship is expected to leave Port Antsiranana of Madagascar on March 14.
The humanitarian aid to the cyclone hit nation is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR).
According to reports nearly 92,000 people in the island nation have been affected, also there has been a loss of lives.
India’s navy has earned a tag of the First Responder and has always been the first to prove immediate relief assistance to those affected in situations nearer home.
Importance of Madagascar
This country is also a member of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
Also, it is a member of the African Union (AU).
It is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) too.
What is Vanilla Islands?
It is a grouping of six island nations which are located in the south-west Indian Ocean.
All these nations joined hands together in 2010 to boost tourism.
The six islands include — Mayotte, Comoros, Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion and Madagascar.
They get the name `Vanilla’ as the main item of export is Vanilla pods.