Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who will be on a four-day visit to India starting September 5, hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led initiative– Vaccine Maitri wherein India sent crores of COVID-19 vaccine doses to Bangladesh and other countries, especially neighbours.
Speaking to ANI over India’s Vaccine Maitri programme, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina said that the vaccine programme was a very “prudent” initiative by PM Modi. “I really thank Prime Minister Modi for this initiative, and that way he… you know, contributed vaccines to not only Bangladesh but also some south Asian countries, and it’s really very helpful. And it’s a really prudent initiative he has taken, and besides that, we bought vaccines with our own money, and many other countries also contributed,” Sheikh Hasina said.
The Bangladesh Prime Minister also spoke about her country’s vaccine programme wherein 90 per cent of the population has been administered COVID-19 vaccines. “So it was a really very good initiative, this Vaccine Maitri itself… very good initiative. I really support it,” she told ANI.
PM Sheikh Hasina also lauded PM Modi for evacuating Bangladeshi students, who like many Indians, were stuck in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries after the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine War.
“I really would like to express my thanks to Prime Minister that during this war between Russia and Ukraine, many of our students were just stuck and they came to Poland to shelter. But when you evacuate your students, Indian students, they also brought our students back home. So it is really… You have shown a clearly friendly gesture. I thank Prime Minister for this initiative,” Sheikh Hasina said.
Notably, after the Russia-Ukraine war started in February, India launched ‘Operation Ganga” to bring back stranded Indians in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries amid the war. In this operation, India also helped stranded citizens of other countries by rescuing them from the region.
Bangladeshi PM referred to India as a “tested” friend, adding that the country had stood by Bangladesh in its hour of need, first in 1971 and then at later times also.