May 2019 \ News \ DIPLOMACY
Humanitarian work important element of India’s diplomacy

Humanitarian work is an important element of India’s diplomacy, although it is often overshadowed by its strategic and defence aspects, according to India’s Ambassador to the USA Mr Harsh Vardhan Shringla ...

By Arul Louis
  • H.E. Mr Harsh Vardhan Shringla

Humanitarian assistance plays an important role in India’s diplomatic outreach to other countries, he said in April in New York at a seminar on “India for Humanity”, held as part of the year-long commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. The seminar was centered on the example of the ‘Jaipur Foot’ in promoting the humanitarian element of Indian diplomacy through a collaboration of the External Affairs Ministry and an NGO behind the prostheses.
The Jaipur Foot prostheses, which some have called a “marvel of Gandhian engineering” for their simplicity yet effectiveness, were developed in the Rajasthan state capital by the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti, which continues to finance their manufacture and distribution. “Jaipur Foot extends Gandhi’s message of compassion”, Shringla said referring to the organisation’s work of providing free prosthetic limbs to victims around the world.
Diplomats from Bangladesh and Malawi acknowledged the Jaipur Foot’s humanitarian work in their countries and elsewhere. Malawi’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Lot Dzonzi, said that while celebrating Gandhi, “one of the greatest human beings”, it is fitting to recall that “Jaipur Foot is the arm that India extended to my country to touch 500 people”. It has changed the lives of those who came crawling or stumbling with canes to the camps but walked out straight, he said.

Tags: USA, India