Patna, Feb 18 (UNI) Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam unveiled a lifesize statue of Sir Seewoosagur Rammgoolam, the Father of the island nation, here today on the first day of his three-day maiden visit to Bihar.
He also renamed a prominent city street after Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, also the country's first Prime Minister and his father.
Later addressing a felicitation programme, organised by the State Government in his honour, Mr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, leading a high power delegation, said it was almost like a 'dream come true' for him since he arrived Bihar.
'' It is also like a homecoming for me since like me, thousands of my countrymen have their roots in Bihar, '' he said adding he was so overwhelmed on landing at Patna Airport this morning that he even kissed the soil of Bihar as a gesture to pay his respect.
Reiterating his desire to visit the state many more times in future, the Mauritius Prime Minister said he was very much touched with the 'love and affection', shown by the people of the state.
Retracing roots of his ancestors in Bihar, Mr Ramgoolam said his great grandfather Mohit Ramgoolam had gone to Mauritius from the unsung village of Harigaon in Bhojpur district long time ago and he was going to visit the same village tommorrow.
He also expressed gratitude to the Bihar Government for installing the lifesize statue of his father here and naming a prominent street after him and said he (Sir Seewoosagar) was the main architect behind introducing democracy and bringing economic boom in his country.
Recalling Sir Sewoosagur Ramgoolam's close association with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the Mauritius Prime Minister claimed that the people of India and Mauritius always maintained close ties in diversified fields.
Also speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said more than half of the population of Mauritius was of Bihari origin and had great similarities of cultural tradition and religious belief.
He said the State Government was committed to increasing cooperation with the people of Bihar origin, settled across the world, and had made a mark in their respective fields because of their dedication and hard work.
'' Your visit would definitely strengthen this shared cultural heritage between Mauritius and Bihar, '' the Chief Minister observed.
Among others, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Assembly Speaker Udai Narayan Choudhury and Patna Mayor Sanjay Kumar spoke on the occasion.
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