Modi gifts 200 cows to Rwandan village


New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gifted 200 cows to villagers as noble gesture to the villagers in Rwanda’s Rweru model village under the Rwandan Government’s Girinka Programme.

The function to mark the handing over of cows was held in the presence of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

The first Indian Prime Minister to visit the East African country, Modi arrived on Monday on a two-day state visit to Rwanda on the first leg of his three-nation Africa tour.

“Beginning the day on a poignant note! PM @narendramodi visits the Genocide Memorial Centre in #Kigali. The Memorial honours the victims of the worst excesses of violence. It is also symbolic of the admirable and exemplary process of reconciliation Rwanda has embarked upon,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, in a tweet.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister appreciated the Girinka Programme, and President Paul Kagame’s initiative in this regard. He said people in India too would be pleasantly surprised to see the cow being given such importance as a means of economic empowerment in villages, in faraway Rwanda.

Notably, Girinka was initiated by President Paul Kagame in response to the alarmingly high rate of childhood malnutrition and as a way to accelerate poverty reduction and integrate livestock and crop farming.

The initiative is based on the premise that providing a dairy cow to poor which transforms livelihoods, reconciles communities improving agricultural productivity through the use of manure as fertilizers.

Since its introduction in 2006 hundreds of thousands have received cows through the Girinka program. By June 2016, a total of 248,566 cows had been distributed to poor households.

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