Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh Rai remarked that India offered support and humanitarian help to almost 150 impacted countries in the form of vaccines, medicines and essential medical equipment during the pandemic.
He said in a Keynote address at the 26th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) in Canberra, Australia.
Rai also highlighted that India facilitated the evacuation of abandoned foreign nationals from different parts of India to around 123 countries.
In addition, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most intense health calamities in recent years as no one had expected such crises, which shooked the entire planet.
Harivansh Rai noted that it had been nearly three years with varying loss of life, social disruption, and economic collapse. The world is still struggling with the multiple challenges thrown by the pandemic.
He further noted that India started an exclusive initiative named “Vaccine Mairi” to supply Indian Made COVID-19 vaccines to several countries across the globe. Under this initiative, India has delivered over 283 million COVID vaccines to 101 countries and two UN commodities.
While expressing the measures taken by the Indian Government, Rai stated that since the virus outbreak in India, the Government took several steps to sabotage the further spread, like continuous services of healthcare facilities, shoring up livelihood and normality in the areas such as education and employment.
As regards enacting appropriate legislation, the Epidemic Diseases Act Parliament was amended in 1897 to provide safety and protection for healthcare individuals handling the infected patients during the outbreak.
The Essential Commodities Act of 1955 was amended to ensure no food grains shortages and to put prices under check during the pandemic.
The Deputy Chairman also noted that these changes helped to ensure food security to vulnerable sections of the country through the Public Distribution System.
He further said that Parliament also approved the budgets as required by the Government to meet the requirements during the pandemic and post-pandemic course.
He further explains that both the Houses of the Indian Parliament and the Secretariats fulfilled his duties despite numerous obligations during the pandemic and continued to hold its sessions, as required by the Constitution.
For regular times, the Sessions were convened under complete COVID safety arrangements and guidelines given by WHO.
Harivansh said, “We in India have always believed in values of integration and unity. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means the entire world is one family, is our core philosophy.
Speaking on India’s G-20 Presidency Deputy Chairman commented that as India accepted the G20 Presidency, the philosophy to promote ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ is again going to get a restored focus as the country remains committed to extending their support towards every effort made to harsh the global challenges.
Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Harivansh, is leading the Indian representation at the 26th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of Commonwealth (CSPOC) in Canberra, Australia. The conference will continue till January 6 and is still underway.
The last conference was arranged in Canada in January 2020. The next meeting is scheduled to be organised in Uganda in 2024.