Project Handover Ceremony at English River Secondary School on Wednesday, 19 August 2020, 0930-1030 Hrs Press Releases

Project Handover Ceremony at English River Secondary School on Wednesday, 19 August 2020, 0930-1030 Hrs

Project Handover Ceremony at English River Secondary School on Wednesday, 19 August 2020, 0930-1030 Hrs

The High commissioner of India, General Dalbir Singh Suhag conducted the Project handover ceremony for the ‘General Renovation Works – External Painting, Reinstating windows, doors and screeding classroom floor at English River Secondary School’ which is executed under the High Impact Community Development Projects Phase-1 (HICDP) funded under India’s grant assistance.

Dignitaries and guests present on the occasion were Minister for Education & Human Resources Development, H.E. Mrs. Jeanne Simeon (John Seemon); Secretary of State for the Department of Foreign Affairs & Blue Economy, H.E. Amb. Barry Faure; Principal Secretary for School Education, Dr. Odile Comarmond

Speaking on the occasion the High Commissioner said that he is happy to note that with this event, the formal handing over the third batch of the 33 High Impact Community Development Projects costing SCR 35 Million (USD 2.5 Million) currently in the final stages of completion and which are spread across various Ministries and Departments including Local Government, Primary & Secondary Schools and Department of Culture and in fact, across all the 3 Main Inner Islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue is being done. These come as a direct grant-in-aid from the people of India to their Seselwa brethren for their community developmental aspects. It is to be noted that India’s developmental partnerships are marked by respect for partners, diversity, care for the future and sustainable development and does not come with any conditions, nor is it influenced by any political or commercial considerations.

This project in English River Secondary School in particular, costing SCR 2,177,780 Million (USD 125,000), covers construction of Boundary Wall, Levelling the Floor, Reinstating Windows, Doors etc. This project was awarded to Seychelles based, ‘All Weather Builders’ company. High Commissioner said that he is delighted to note that the project has been completed within the scheduled period. There are 32 such projects in Phase-1 of High Impact Community Projects being implemented in Seychelles, all using Seselwa labour and material. In fact, we shall very shortly be taking up the Phase-II of the project in English River Secondary School which shall look at further renovations and repairs in the school and hoslitcially provide for all the required robust infrastructure for years to come. These projects shall not only generate more employment and business opportunities to Seselwa, but also touch the lives of each and every one of you!

All of such noble works are being carried out in Seychelles, inspite of all hindrances posed in front of both our Governments due to COVID-19. This is the level of commitment and dedication the High Commission of India devotes for the community level project assistance for its best maritime neighbour and friend, Seychelles!

The High Commissioner addressed the children and the day’s activity also coincides with our year-long celebrations of the 150th Birth Anniversary of the world epitome of Peace and Non-Violence, Mahatma Gandhi. The United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution declaring his birthday, 2nd October as the ‘International Day of Non-Violence’. The principles that he practiced and propagated through his life are worthwhile to standby even to this date. He is happy to announce that we shall soon be having a Bronze Statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Peace Park standing amongst the other tall world leaders like Nelson Mandela and former President of Republic of Seychelles, Sir James Mancham. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi was the sole inspiration and ideological guru of Nelson Mandela, in his non-violent struggle.

The High Commissioner said that he is taking the opportunity to share amongst the children some of the life lessons taught by Mahatma Gandhi:

Anything is possible – Mahatma Gandhi was not born in a family of great leaders nor was he a child prodigy or a genius like many other famous people. He was a common man who used to be very shy in childhood. He still emerged as a leader and a great man. The lesson you can learn is to believe in yourself and do what feels right. Never think any less of yourself.

Keep trying – He never stopped trying until he succeeded. Step by step and slowly, he achieved what he wanted. We can learn the lesson of trying till we succeed. Success comes slowly to those who try and not to those who lose patience and stop trying.

Non-violence – Mahatma Gandhi always followed the path of non-violence and achieved what he wanted through peace. Sometimes, things around us make us sad and upset.  But we can learn from him the lesson to stay calm in the tough situations. Try to follow the path of peace instead of violence to handle the tough situations. 

Simplicity – You don’t need materialistic things to be happy. Gandhi Ji was a very simple man. He was happy and positive in whatever he had and never lived a fancy life. Money and materialistic things don’t matter if you are not happy. Simple living and high thinking was his mantra.

Be a role model – Gandhiji’s famous quote- ‘Be the change you want to see in others’ teaches us to be a role model and to lead by example. He was an active participant in all his campaigns, whether it was Dandi march, satyagraha or quit India movement, he was a role model. So, it’s always better to change yourself first and then expect the world to change.

See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil – We all heard of this lesson when we were small. Gandhiji’s 3 monkeys are every famous who teach us this lesson.

Government of India, taking the footsteps of the Mahatma, has pioneered many initiatives for fighting against climate change and for sustainability including the International Solar Alliance(ISA), wherein more than 75 countries have already ratified their cooperation and we are proud to mention that Seychelles is one of the founding members of the ISA and will be availing Solar Implementations to the extent of USD 8.7 Million under this development partnership arrangement directly from the people of India. This would cover rooftop solar installations in various government building, housing units and even solar street lighting in various locations in Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. In fact, the Government of India has committed more than USD 1 Billion Concessional Credit Lines for the Solar Projects under ISA in the African countries alone.

He said that his is delighted to state that today we are also gifting 500 washable and re-usable cotton face masks are being gifted to the School management to be distributed to all the students and the faculty and hopee that this small gesture will go a long way in our collective fight against COVID-19 pandemic in Seychelles.

Also, as a special gesture and on the request of the Head Teacher, a collection of 40 Books covering various genre from India for the English River Secondary School are being gifted and hoped that will enhance the library collection and motivate the students to read extensively and enhance their knowhow. It is rightly said, “Great Books have the ability to shape the young minds and improve their self-esteem!” and I am sure, these young minds would be the future pillars of the strong Seychelles!

The High Commissioner concluded his speech by thanking and saying that he looked forward to more such opportunities to meet and greet them in the near future.