Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare is on an official visit to the island nation of Tuvalu. Shri Choubey was warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Mr Enele Sosene Sopoaga at a Funafuti airport. Shri Choubey also made a courtesy call to the Governor General of Tuvalu and discussed bilateral issues.In his wide ranging discussions with the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Governor General and other dignitaries, Shri Choubey stated that India would be willing to give her expertise to Tuvalu in the field medical, IT, marine, solar energy and education. Shri Choubey also handed over a cheque of A$ 66,705 (Australian Dollar) to the Government of Tuvalu as a development partnership assistance from India. He also invited the PM of Tuvalu to visit India.Shri Choubey met Mr Namoliki Sualiki Neemia, Home Minister of Tuvalu and discussed various issues relating to Indo-Tuvalu bilateral relations. Shri Choubey said that his visit to very momentous and historic as he is the first Minister from India to visit the country.During his visit to the Government Hospital in Funafuti, Shri Choubey requested the Government of Tuvalu to send a formal proposal for receiving assistance in the medical sector. It was felt that there is a need for setting up of an effective blood bank system to make the services more effective.
In a meeting with the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Shri Choubey stressed on the need for sharing and exchanging knowledge between the two countries. He visited Solar Project Site and Demonstration House of Tuvalu Electrical Complex. He was highly impressed with the work of six Tuvalu solar Mamas (women) who completed six-months training in Barefoot College Rajasthan, India in September, 2017. He appreciated the courage of Ms Ulata Sapolu, solar Mama from Tuvalu for continuing the course in India in spite of the sad demise of her husband in Tuvalu. He also interacted with the students from Tuvalu who have studied in India. The students shared their experiences of their stay in India. Shri Choubey requested the Government of Tuvalu to encourage their students to utilise ICCR-sponsored scholarships to study in India. He requested the High Commissioner of India in Fiji to send a Yoga teacher from Fiji to Tuvalu. Shri Choubey advised the students of Tuvalu to form India Tuvalu Friendship Association to motivate other students to study on scholarship through ICCR in India.Shri Choubey further said that the High Commission of India in Fiji will also organize fourth International Day of Yoga event at Funafuti. He had a meeting with Red Cross Secretary General of Tuvalu and discussed the current network and services of Red Cross in the island country.The Government of Tuvalu also hosted a dinner and organized a traditional Tuvalu cultural program in honour of Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in which all cabinet ministers, members of parliament and other eminent persons were also present.