Sanjay Wadvani, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Kolkata, Mainak De, Head Political & Public Affairs Dept., British Deputy High Commission, Kolkata and William J. Smith, Regional Overseas Security Manager are accompanying the British diplomat on his first maiden visit to the state.
Bevan met the Governor of Mizoram, Vakkom Purushothaman at the Raj Bhawan where they had a meeting lasting a little over half an hour and discussed various issues including health, education, skill development and urban planning among others. Thereafter the visiting British diplomat met the Chief Secretary L. Tochhong at her office. The Chief Secretary highlighted various developments that have taken place in the last couple of years and informed the High Commissioner about how NLUP, the flagship programme of the government is transforming the lives of people across the and protecting the environment.
On the issue of English language training, skill development and urban planning, the British High Commissioner stressed on the need to collaborate with institutions in the state and said that he would be more than happy to help. Talking about the tourism potential of the state, he hoped that more British tourists would know about Mizoram and visit it.
In the afternoon, he met local journalists at the I & PR Conference Hall where he said that the aim of his visit was to learn and understand the state as well as to identify opportunities between Great Britain and Mizoram, so that both of them could work together to build a successful future. He said that the state shares a lot in terms of the English speaking population, the Church as well as the craze for football with his country.
Answering a question on whether his visit was linked to hydrocarbon deposits in the state, he said that Great Britain has lot of expertise in the area which can be explored by the state. Answering another question on whether Great Britain could help Mizo youngsters in the area of football, the Deputy High Commissioner responded that the Community Outreach programme, which is being run in some areas in West Bengal by using football as a binding force may be looked into, as a possible area of collaboration.
Responding to a query on what India and Great Britain as diverse nations in terms of their population can learn from each other, the High Commissioner said that he firmly believes in the concept of unity in diversity and pointed that diversity encourages creativity, imagination and encourages a broad outlook in citizens.