Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said another 10,000 Bangladeshi students will receive scholarships worth Rs 35 crore or over Tk 45.5 crore to be awarded under the new Muktijodha (freedom fighters) scholarship scheme.
Under the new scheme, students at higher secondary level will get a one-time grant of Tk 20,000 and those at under graduate level Tk 50,000.
“The initiatives announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi reflect our continued solidarity with the valiant Muktijodhas,” said the High Commissioner while addressing a scholarship award-giving ceremony at the Theatre Institute in Chittagong on Saturday.
During Hasina’s Delhi visit, three new welfare schemes for Bangladeshi freedom fighters (FFs) were announced by Narendra Modi.
As per the welfare, all freedom fighters are now eligible for five years multiple entry Indian visa, while 100 freedom fighters will be provided free medical treatment in Indian hospitals every year as per the welfare schemes.
Housing and Public Works Minister and freedom fighter Engr Mosharraf Hossain attended the function as the chief guest.
Divisional Commissioner, Chittagong Md Ruhul Amin, Indian Assistant High Commissioner, Chittagong Somnath Haldar and freedom fighters were, among others, present.
“You’ve fought shoulder to shoulder with Indian troops in 1971 and continue to be our eternal friends,” said the Indian envoy.
Shringla said Bangladesh and India share historical legacy of fighting and winning the Liberation War together. “These are eternal bonds of blood and sacrifice of our martyrs and will continue to bind our nations together in future.”
Indian government began the Muktijodha Scholarship Scheme in 2006 for heirs of freedom fighters.
Up to now, more than 10,000 scholarships worth TK 15 crores have been disbursed, Shringla said.
This year, he mentioned, scholarships have been awarded to 600 undergraduate students, while 48 scholarships to wards of freedom fighters from Chittagong.
The Housing Minister distributed cheques of scholarships to 41 students on Saturday.
The High Commissioner paid tributes to the martyrs of both the countries who laid down their lives during the Independence struggle.
He also thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for honouring the Indian martyrs of War of Liberation during her recent visit to India..