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International Women's Day and National Day of Mauritius - Arya Sabha,

Arya Sabha Mauritius

National Day

International Women’s Day

9 March 2019

Hon. Minister of Education,

His Lordship Mayor of Port Louis,

Eminent dignitaries of Arya Sabha Mauritius,


Distinguished guests,

Teachers and students,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to thank the Arya Sabha Mauritius for inviting me here today, at these twin celebrations to mark the National Day of Mauritius and also the International Women’s Day. I am happy to join all of you on this occasion.

I am still very new in Mauritius. But I am deeply impressed by the all-round development and progress that has been achieved by the country in the last five decades as an independent nation.

This is been a collectively effort. One that has been led by successive governments but is made possible by the active participation of all citizens.

The economic success stories, the extensive infrastructure development, efforts towards maintaining a sustainable ecology has made Mauritius an attractive destination internationally.

The hard work of the people of Mauritius and the foresight and vision of its leaders has been successful in overcoming many of the challenges faced by an island economy.

Mauritius is one of the few countries that have such a remarkable diversity among its population. Diversity in terms of ethnicities, faiths, languages, cultures. However, this diversity has turned into an advantage as this has facilitated the linkages and strong ties of Mauritius with Asia, Africa and Europe.

We in India are proud of our very special and unique bonds with the people of Mauritius.

India and Mauritius not only share close diaspora ties but are similar in many other ways.

Both are societies are mega diverse and take pride in and draw strength from their unity in diversity.

Both India and Mauritius have experienced colonisation but have overcome to a large extent, the deep disadvantages and injustices of that period.

People in both our countries are proud of and preserve their cultural and spiritual heritage, even while embracing modernity.

People in both our countries lay emphasis on education as a way to overcome our development challenges and achieve progress in life individually and as a nation.

Having overcome colonization, both of us deeply value our freedom and independence, which is a basic right of peoples.

At the same time, both are peoples have chosen a democratic pathway that respects popular will and human rights and values of justice and equity and non-discrimination.

Among the most important things that define the character and strength of a society and indeed a nation is the status of women.

Here again, our civilizational heritage respects women.

Today, there are any number of outstanding examples of women having earned leadership roles in different fields including politics, business, government service, private sector, science and technology, academics, sports, arts and culture and many others. This speaks volumes about their talent and their capacity to multi-task.

However, like elsewhere in the world, in many instances women continue to face discrimination and challenges, despite considerable legal and other measures to provide equal rights and opportunities.

Highlighting progress as well as continuing challenges, and working to eliminate these is an important goal of initiatives such as the commemoration of the International Women’s Day.

It is in situations such as these that the contribution of various non-governmental socio- cultural organisations is also of great significance and responsibility.

I wish to commend the Arya Sabha for their important work. And I wish to congratulate the Government and people of Mauritius on their 51st Independence Day and wish them every success.

Thank you.





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