India practices SAGAR diplomacy; extends helping hand across Indian Ocean

Akhilesh Suman

INS Jalashwa in Kochi with the 1st batch of 698 Indians frm Maldives. (Twitter image)

INS Jalashwa in Kochi with the 1st batch of 698 Indians frm Maldives. (Twitter image)

In keeping with its policy of aiding all countries fighting against the Coronavirus pandemic, India is extending a helping hand to nations along the Indian Ocean.

Some of these countries, being deep-sea islands and isolated from the global mainland, are extremely vulnerable.

On Sunday, India sent navy ship INS Kesari to Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles and Maldives at their request. On board the ship are two medical teams and COVID-19 related essential medicines and food items.

‘Mission Sagar’ as it is named is based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR, an acronym for – Security and Growth for All in the Region. For India, this is an extension of its Indo-pacific foreign policy.

The medical assistance teams will be deployed in Mauritius and Comoros to help them deal with the COVID-19 cases.  Comoros in particular is facing both COVID-19 and dengue fever. The COVID-19 related medical consignments are for Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles.

INS Kesari will deliver about 600 tonnes of food items to Maldives. For Mauritius, it is also carrying a special consignment of Ayurvedic medicines.

Medicines bound for Madagascar and Comoros include Hydroxychloroquine tablets. These medicines have already been made available to Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles.

“In line with its time-tested role as the first responder in the region, India has supported the efforts of the governments of Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Seychelles by providing them consignments of COVID-19 related essential medicines. A team of medical personnel has also been dispatched to Maldives to help the Government fight this crisis,” Anurag Srivastav, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said.