Indian President Mukherjee wraps-up Nepal visit; says India together with Nepal’s journey of development and peace

indian-president-farewellPokhara, Nov 4: Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has said that India would move ahead together in Nepal’s journey of development and peace.

Addressing the Nepali ex-Indian army personnel here on Friday, President Mukherjee expressed the view that Nepal-India relations should be further consolidated in the days ahead. He said that he was very happy to meet the former Gurkha army personnel in a beautiful city, Pokhara.

Expressing sorrow on behalf of the people of India and his own over the huge loss of lives and property in Nepal due to earthquake in Nepal last year, he said that Rs 32,000 was distributed to each pensioner for the support of quake-affected 6,832 former Indian army personnel. The Indian government is fully committed to support the Government of Nepal in the post-quake reconstruction work.

The Indian President recalled that Gurkha army personnel have been serving with bravery and devotion for the past 200 years. He mentioned that there are now 32,000 Gurkha army personnel in India with some 126,000 Nepali ex Indian army and their dependent families.

Saying that ex-Gurkha army did their job with determination and courage for safeguarding the Indian frontiers, he noted that the Gurkha army was the major foundation of Nepal-India friendship.

“Our courageous retired armies of both the countries have contributed a lot to security and development. We on behalf of Indian government are launching a welfare plan for you (former Indian and Indian Gurkha armies),” he said.

He said a pension of approximately Rs 3100 crores was being distributed to former Indian Gurkha Army every year and there is a plan to increase pension amounts (by up to Rs 4000 crores) for the same purpose this fiscal year.

President Mukherjee further noted around INR 10 million was distributed last year to execute the Ex-servicemen Contribution Health Plan in Nepal for Ex-Gurkhas to keep their health well.

As supreme commander of the Indian Army, he informed that the welfare plan remains in effect in Nepal as well for the ex-servicemen. The visiting dignitary shared that the Indian Army will also be entitled to receive 2.57 times of basic pension as per the ‘One Rank One pension’ programme.

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said it was a matter of pride for everyone to have the Indian President to address a gathering of Ex-Gurkhas in Pokhara city.

Indian President Mukherjee given civic reception by Janakpur people

Meanwhile, Indian President Mukherjee. was offered a civic felicitation at the Tirhutiya Gachhi of Janakpurdham, the ancient capital of Mithila this afternoon.

The visiting Indian dignitary was given the civic felicitation on behalf the Janakpur people by the Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City.

Acknowledging the civic felicitation, President Mukherjee said he was moved by the reception he received in the ancient city of Janakpur.

He said Janakpur, the birth place of goddess Sita and the sage king Janak, was a place of reverence for India and has encouraged study and research on culture and knowledge.

“Janakpur was a place of knowledge and learning for the scholars all over the world. Janakpur, which is a fertile place of convergence of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Mahaveer religions, is an example of common culture,” the Indian President stated.

Noting that the important search for the Rigveda had also undertaken in Janakpur, he opined for taking the shared tradition, prosperity and the inheritance to a new height.

The Indian President maintained about the construction of two dharmasalas (pilgrims rest houses) along the Janakpur circuit path, the development of Janakpur, the setting up of modern check posts on the approach roads to Birgunj and Biratnagar and the tourism development plan, which he believed would be of help in the development of the trade and tourism sectors of Nepal.

President Mukherjee also laid emphasis on protecting the inheritance from the ancestors and enhancing love, goodwill and sisterly relations, and the ties at the governmental and people’s level.

He stated that he has been impressed by the life philosophy espoused by the Gandhian leader the late Mahendra Narayan Nidhi.

On the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi, welcoming the Indian President, urged for the assistance of the government of India in promotion of tourism in Janakpur.

He drew attention of President Mukherjee towards the multi-faceted development including the projects undertaken in Janakpur with Government of India’s cooperation.

Stating that the people of India and Janakpur enjoy the relations of mutual deep affection, Deputy Prime Minister Nidhi underscored the need of listing Janakpur as a tourist site.

On the occasion, Janakpur Sub Metropolitan City Office Chief Punya Prasad Luintel presented a letter of civic felicitation and a key of the Office to President Mukherjee. He expected for India’s assistance in the development of Janakpur.

The Indian President took stock of Janakpur, the historic town, with DPM Nidhi. Artists of the Mithila Natyakala Council presented a welcome dance in the honour of the high profile guest.

The Greater Janakpur Area Development Council and Janakpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry gifted a replica of the Janaki Temple to the Indian President.

Upon his arrival at Tirhutiya Gachhi, the President of India was received by DPM Nidhi, Tourism Minister Jeevan Bahadur Shahi, lawmakers, former members of parliament and political parties’ representatives. RSS

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