On Monday, for the first prime minister level visit, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi will gift 200 cows during his travel to Rweru model village in Rwanda’s eastern province. The gift is India’s contribution to Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s flagship “Girinka” programme.
Officials have stated that the cows will be local as they are better adapted to the surroundings. Girinka, first launched in 2006, refers to “one cow for one poor family” programme. According to the government’s claims, nearly 3.5 lakh families have benefited from the scheme.
‘Girinka’s means have a cow, and is part of a centuries-old practice in Rwanda, in which a cow is gifted to someone as a sign of respect or a marriage dowry.
“The gifting of cows is not just an economic contribution, but also an expression of India’s gratitude to Rwanda for treating Indian community well,” an official said
As part of the programme, diary cows are gifted to the poorest families and the first female calf born of that cow is gifted to the neighbour. According to the govt, it promotes family ties and brotherhood within the community.
Ministry of External Affairs’ Secretary (Economic Relations) T S Tirumurti called this an “important element” of the PM’s programme.