Port Louis: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday oversaw preparations for the 11th World Hindi Conference here in the presence of Mauritian Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun.
Sushma Swaraj and Dookun-Luchoomun paid a site visit to the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre (SVICC), the main venue of the event to be held in August.
The Indian minister also visited the newly inaugurated building of the World Hindi Secretariat, Phoenix, where she was welcomed by a wide range of Mauritian socio-cultural organizations and Hindi enthusiasts, according to a statement issued by the Indian External Affairs Ministry.
People of Indian origin comprise a major part of the population in this Indian Ocean island nation. Most of them are descendants of indentured labour brought to work here in the 19th and 20th centuries in sugarcane plantations.
Sushma Swaraj arrived here on Saturday on her way to South Africa to attend the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and the IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) ministerial meetings.
During her brief stopover here, she had a dinner meeting with Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth on Saturday at which both sides reviewed preparations for the the World Hindi Conference 2018.
“Noting that India-Mauritius relations are based on age-old ties of kinship and culture, they emphasized the significance of protecting and promoting their own languages, traditions and culture,” the statement said.
“Hindi is a shared language and shared heritage of India and Mauritius, and the next World Hindi Conference will help further strengthen the bonds between the two countries.”
Jugnauth will be the chief guest in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, a conclave of the Indian diaspora, to be held in India’s Varanasi next year.