As part of New Delhi’s efforts to include Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s signature projects like “Fit India” and “Khelo India” in the Neighborhood First Policy, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar announced on Thursday that India has extended a favourable $40 million Line of Credit for the development of sporting infrastructure in the Maldives.
Jaishankar is on a three-day trip to Sri Lanka and the Maldives to deepen bilateral ties with these two important maritime neighbours of India. He said these things at the launch of a neighbourhood project in Shaviyani Foakaidhoo.
The dedicated $40 million line of credit, which is a concession, will be used to build sports infrastructure on all islands. It’s important to note that the Prime Minister directly promoted two movements in India. According to Jaishankar, who mentioned it during the inauguration, one is called Fit India to urge everyone to be fit, while the other is called Khelo India to encourage youth to participate in sports.
Jaishankar is on a three-day trip to Sri Lanka and the Maldives to deepen bilateral ties.
He also added that this is a great way to take Fit India and Khelo India into our Neighbourhood First Policy. The authorities are definitely anticipating seeing a much more socially and physically active South Asia, he added. The Modi administration established Fit India and Khelo India to resurrect the nation’s grassroots fitness and sporting traditions.
Together with Abdulla Shahid from the Maldives, Jaishankar opened the community centre. The community centre in Shaviyani Foakaidhoo is one of 45 high-impact projects that New Delhi and the Maldives government are collaborating on, 23 of which have already been finished. Foakaidhoo is one of the inhabited islands that make up the Shaviyani Atoll administrative region in the Maldives, which is geographically a part of the Miladhummadulhu Atoll.
Jaishankar mentioned that with the cooperation of New Delhi in the sports and development of youth has rapidly opened several gates for the department’s expansion, alongside the training provided to the Maldivian athletes in India and the gifting of sports equipment. The ministry has undertaken grant projects to help potential and aspiring sportspersons by setting up youth centres, boosting the strength of sports infrastructure and also introducing open-air gyms on a total number of 64 islands in the Maldives, and Foakaidhoo is one of them.
This is a great way to take Fit India and Khelo India into our Neighbourhood First Policy.
According to Jaishankar, this community centre is a prime illustration of the high-calibre social infrastructure being built throughout the Maldives as part of the development collaboration between India and the Maldives. He also praised the council and the residents of Foakaidhoo for the project’s successful conclusion.
The External Affairs Minister reported that a new project for the construction of a sports centre in Gaaf Dhaalu Gaddhoo was added on Wednesday. While expressing his happiness over the matter, he stated that the ministry has decided to give the Maldives another MVR 100 million as a grant to carry out more projects for the development of island communities’ socioeconomic infrastructure.
Jaishankar stated that National Capital was also collaborating with the island of Male to increase the processing and cold storage capabilities of the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company. In the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and ‘Neighborhood First,’ the Maldives and Sri Lanka—India’s major maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region—have a special role to play in the whole projects.