Indian children on a goodwill mission to Bangladesh

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Shillong, Jan 21 (UNI) Twenty-five Indian children would visit Bangladesh on a mission to foster peace and harmony between the people of the neighbouring countries.

The children of Border Security Force (BSF) officials from the Eastern sector would visit Bangladesh capital Dhaka from January 26 and travel to other parts of the country till January 30.

''This is the first time school children from the Eastern sector would visit Bangladesh on a goodwill mission,'' BSF spokesperson, DIG, VS Sikarwar told UNI here.

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Major General Shakil Ahmed mooted the idea of holding such an exchange programme during the routine high-level meeting with his Indian counterpart AK Mitra. The meeting was held in Dhaka last year.

Five school children (three boys and two girls) each from North and South Bengal, Manipur, Cachar and Tripura frontiers would be part of the team, Mr Sikarwar added.

''The BDR would reciprocate the visit by sending their children to India sometime next month,'' the BSF spokesman said.

India shares a 4,096 km border with Bangladesh. Although a good part of the border has been sealed, border related crimes frequently make headlines in the two countries.

In the last BSF-BDR meeting, BSF Director General, AK Mitra handed out a list of 141 Indian insurgent groups having their camps in Bangladesh. Bangladesh handed out a similar list of anti-Bangladesh groups having base in India.

Under these scenarios of constant accusations and denials from both sides, such track II diplomacy with people-to-people contact may help better relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

''Children have this natural tendency of making friends easily and hopefully these school kids would do exactly that during their visit,'' the BSF official felt.


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