Remarks by High Commissioner of India, Mr. Harsh...
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High Commission of India

Dhaka

Remarks by High Commissioner of India, Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the Inauguration of NADI 2, the Asian Confluence River Festival, October 08, 2017 [Venue: National Theater Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka]

 

Hon’ble Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP,

Shri Ram Madhav, Director, India Foundation

Hon’ble State Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. Md. Shahriar Alam,

Hon’ble Water Resources Minister, Government of Assam, Shri Kesava Mahanta,

Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Member, Governing Council, Asian Confluence

Shri Sabyasachi Dutta, Director, Asian Confluence

Colleagues from the diplomatic community

Participants at the NADI dialogue

Ladies and Gentlemen

  • It gives me great pleasure to be here for the second edition of NADI, the Asian Confluence River Festival.
  • I must congratulate Asian Confluence, led by Mr. Sabyasachi Dutta, for having taken the initiative to organize the second edition of NADI in Bangladesh. In this endeavour, they have been ably supported by Friends of Bangladesh led by Major ASM Shamsul Arefin. I also take this opportunity to thank Hon’ble Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP for agreeing to attend the inauguration as the Chief Guest and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their support to the event. I must also thank Shri Ram Madhav, Director, India Foundation for being present at the inauguration today as the keynote speaker. Special thanks are also due to the Hon’ble Ministers of Culture, Civil Aviation & Tourism, State Minister for Water Resources, Bangladesh and the Economic Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister for being a part of the NADI festival and dialogue. Let me also extend a warm welcome to Medha Saikia and her colleagues from the Northeast India Fashion and Design Council to the exhibition being held concurrently with the inauguration of NADI 2.
  • First edition of the festival, held in Shillong last year, with the theme “Listen to the River” was successful in bringing together experts, policy makers and other stakeholders to have a productive dialogue on promoting trans-boundary riverine connectivity and in shaping the narrative of socio-economic development driven by and centered on our rivers.
  • The theme for this edition is “Celebrating the Common Riverine Heritage of the Bay of Bengal: Perspectives from Bangladesh and India” with focus on exploring the possibility of promoting trade, connectivity, tourism and people-to-people contact through the rivers.
  • Historically, Bangladesh and the neighbouring Indian states were integrated economically. This integrated economy was served by our common rivers, particularly Brahmaputra and Barak-Surma, which were used extensively for facilitating trade and commerce, and people-to-people contact.
  • Recognizing the historically important role that our rivers have played in connecting our people and businesses, promoting connectivity through our inland waterways and coastal shipping has become an important part of our objective to create multi-modal transport links between India and Bangladesh. To this end, we have taken concerted efforts in the last few years to revive trade and tourism through our rivers to the mutual benefit of our people.
  • India and Bangladesh have renewed the Protocol on Inland Waterways and operationalized coastal shipping, and are in the process of developing tourism on coastal and Protocol routes. We are also cooperating on creating and upgrading infrastructure for supporting the use of waterways. We are also working together on the management and conservational aspects of our common riverine heritage – whether it is monitoring river pollution and assessing impact of climate change in the Sunderbans ecosystem or transboundary migration and conservation of animals, particularly of elephants.
  • I am certain that the dialogue that will take place in NADI 2 will give further impetus to the narrative of river driven development and generate new ideas for enhancing cooperation between our countries on the same.
  • The inauguration of NADI 2 today will be followed by a cultural performance entitled Waterness by Turongami Repertory Dance Theater led by talented Bangladesh artist Ms. Pooja Sengupta. Waterness, inspired by the life of Rabindranath Tagore, attempts to find a relation between water and woman, and in the process captures the impact of rivers on our lives.
  • I once again thank all those who have worked hard to make organization of NADI in Dhaka possible and wish all the best to the participants and the organizers.

Thank you.

 

 
 
 


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