Gangajal (water from the Ganga) and 1,000 copies of Hanuman Chalisa — those are the precious gifts that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar carried for the people of Mauritius when he embarked upon a five-day tour of the island country on Wednesday.
“I am on a mission to strengthen the cultural ties with Mauritius. It will help people to know each other. The way migrants from Bihar who went to Mauritius to work on sugarcane fields changed their own fate as well that of their adopted country by their sheer labour is worth emulation,” he said.
“We are carrying Gangajal as there is a pond called Ganga Talab there into which the people pour the sacred water of the holy Ganga,” said Culture and Youth Affairs Minister, Janardan Singh Sigriwal, a member of the official delegation. As regards copies of the Hanuman Chalisa, Sigriwal said: “We have come to know that people from Bihar have a peepal tree outside their houses and have fixed Hanumanji’s red flag on it. We will present them Hanuman Chalisas, which are in great demand there.”
Only a few days back, people of Badka Singhanpura, the ancestral village of Mauritius’ first independent PM, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, had handed him soil from the village to be presented to current PM Navinchandra Ramgoolam. Navinchandra is Sir Seewoosagur’s son.
“The state-level gift is a handicraft item purchased from Delhi Cottage Emporium, the ministerial gift consists of elephants made of stone of different sizes and a pool gift of Madhubani paintings,” said Information and Public Relations Department Secretary, Vivek Singh.
“After all, no CM from Bihar has ever visited Mauritius and no other government tried to think about the Bhojpuri-speaking people settled there,” Sigriwal said.