Indian President Ram Nath Kovind will hand over cricket kits during his two-nation tour in the Caribbean.
The president is on a state visit to Jamaica and will later go to St. Vincent and Grenadines (SVG) till May 21.
Cricket has been connecting India with Caribbean countries with Jamaican cricketers like Chris Gayle and Jimmy Adams being household names.
At a curtain raiser presser ahead of President Kovind’s visit, Secretary (East) in Ministry of foreign affairs Saurabh Kumar said, “both countries which are part of what is commonly known as West Indies. There is love for cricket and this was a request which was made in the interaction which our head of missions had out there and we will be very happy, given the love for cricket both there as well as out here, to give them these cricket kits. “
The Indian president will hand over cricket kits to the president of the Jamaican Cricket Association and Cricket Association of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
India has been helping to build capacity relating to cricket globally from the Maldives where it is helping build a cricket stadium to train Afghan cricketers in the past. In fact, cricket bats were given by PM Modi to world leaders as part of the connect.
It is the first visit by the Indian president to the two countries. In Jamaica, President Kovind will hold discussions with Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen and Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
He will inaugurate the India-Jamaica friendship garden by planting a sandalwood sapling. Along with this, a road in the capital city of Kingston will be named after Dr. BR Ambedkar to mark the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Saurabh Kumar explained, “The bilateral relationship is based on common linksages of history, parliamentary democracy, membership of the Commonwealth and love of cricket.”
Jamaica is a Girmitya country with around 70,000 strong Indian diasporas. Girmitiya countries – Fiji, Mauritius, South Africa, and the Caribbean region are places where indentured laborers from India were taken by the British.
Most of these Indians are from the Indian states of UP, Bihar and Bengal and have preserved their culture. This year also marks the 176th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Jamaica.
In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a country with a population of 1.1 lakh has approximately 7,700 people of Indian origin.
The president will meet Governor-General Susan Dougan and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. Both Jamaica and SVG are members of India’s headquartered International Solar Alliance.