Paramaribo: President Droupadi Murmu has been decorated with the highest civilian honour of Suriname - The Grand Order of the Chain of Yellow Star, in Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname. She received the honor from the President of the Republic of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi. President Murmu is the first Indian to receive this award.

Accepting the highest honor bestowed upon her, the President said that this recognition holds tremendous significance for not just her but for more than 1.4 billion Indians, whom she represents. She also extended her heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Suriname and said that the award symbolises the enduring bond of cooperation between the two nations.

President Murmu is on a 3-day state visit to Suriname. Yesterday, President Murmu held delegation level talks with her Surinamese counterpart. During the discussions, the President noted that like India, Suriname is also a diverse country where people of different castes, languages, and religions live in peace and harmony. 

She said that deep historical and cultural ties provide the foundation for the India-Suriname multifaceted and modern partnership. She was happy to note that Hindi is widely spoken in Suriname which reminds her of her motherland.

The President also noted that bilateral trade between the two countries is well below potential. She said that there is a need to work together to expand bilateral trade for mutual benefit. In this light, 3 MoUs were signed between the two countries. Two MoUs were signed in the

field of Health and one in the field of Agriculture. 

The Government of India also announced the supply of essential medicines worth 5.1 Cr rupees to Suriname to aid the Caribbean country’s flood relief efforts. A symbolic consignment of medicines was presented by President Murmu to President Santokhi in a ceremony at the presidential palace.

At a special briefing of the media, in Paramaribo, Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs said that amongst the various measures taken by the Indian Government to strengthen bilateral ties between the nations, the Government of India has extended the OCI facility to the 5th & 6th generation of Persons of Indian origin in Suriname. This was a long pending demand of the Indian diaspora there.

Addressing a media question, Mr. Kumar said that the signing of MoUs, in the sector of Health, will open the Suriname market for Indian pharma industries. President Murmu is invited to the South American country as a chief guest of celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Suriname, on the 5th of June 1973. The President witnessed a number of events around the celebration of the culture of the Indian diaspora in Suriname.

Today, President Murmu will visit Lalla Rookh Museum, the Arya Dewaker Mandir, and Shri Vishnu Mandir. Thereafter, the President will lay a wreath on the monument of "Gevallen Helden 1902", followed by a community reception for the Indian diaspora in Suriname.

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