Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, has received the Mahatma Gandhi Honor Award for his tireless effort in strengthening Indo-Seychelles relations.
Addressing press and members of the Indian business community on the occasion of this award presenting ceremony, Mr. Gurinder Singh, a member of the Press Council of India, said: “Indo-Seychelles relations have been characterized by close friendship, understanding, and cooperation. Diplomatic ties were established with Seychelles after its independence in 1976, but links date back even earlier. There have been high-level exchanges from both sides since Seychelles achieved its independence. President France Albert Rene has visited India several times. President James Alix Michel paid his state visit to India in February 2012 and again in February 2012. Former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, President Shri R. Venkataraman, Vice-President Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, Vice-PresidentShri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Shri S.M. Krishna, Defense Minister Shri A.K. Antony have all visited Seychelles on goodwill mission[s]. India has an important link with Seychelles in the form of Indian nationals who have been among the earliest inhabitants of this island. On this occasion I also take the opportunity to invite the Honorable Minister for our Golden Triangle event to be held in January, and we invite him to be our Chief Guest of 2015,” Mr. Guriner Singh said.
On his part, Dr. Bhishma Narain Singh, a former Cabinet Minister of the government of India and Governor of Assam, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, also said before presenting the Mahatma Gandhi Award to Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, that Indo-Seychelles relations have been characterized by close friendship, understanding, and cooperation. Dr. Bhishma Narain Singh used the opportunity of his address to retrace the bilateral agreements existing between the two countries, and he spelled out in great detail the cooperation that existed in the areas of economic and commerce cooperation before touching on the existing cultural relations existing between India and Seychelles.
Dr. Bhishma Narain Singh said: “The first edition of the Seychelles-India Day 2013 was celebrated in Victoria Seychelles between October 4 and 6, 2013. Top Bollywood stars, play back singers, a leading choreographer, a culinary expert, and musicians from India showcased their talents together with local artists in the celebration. A dance workshop, food workshop, music concert, and dance performances, etc., were conducted by them to enthrall the Seychellois and Indians on those three days with the culmination of a grand gala evening show focusing on the “100 years of Bollywood” on October 6, 2013.”
In the presence of Dr. Shakeel-Uz-Zaman Ansari from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of the government of India, and Mr. Dalbir Sing, the National Secretary of the All India Congress Committee, Dr. Bhishma Narain Singh and Mr. Gurinder Singh presented Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, with the Mahatma Gandhi Samman Award.
Present at this ceremony were H.E. Waven William, the Seychelles High Commissioner accredited to India; Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board; Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture at the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture; and Mr. Thanglura Darlong, the Joint Secretary for Parliament and Coordination at the Ministry of External Affairs of India who was also previously the Indian Ambassador accredited to Seychelles when the islands held its first edition of the Seychelles-India Day Celebrations.
Alain St.Ange said as he took to the podium to address the ceremony after having received the Mahatma Gandhi Honor Award that he was honored by the gesture which he accepts on behalf of his team at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and also at the Seychelles Tourism Board. “Today you have shown that when we work hard, our work is recognized well beyond our own borders,” Minister St.Ange said.