Even as Indian citizens are annoyed by the interference of singer-songwriter Robyn Rihanna Fenty into promoting violent protestors funded by Khalistani separatists abroad, India has reached out to help her home country Barbados by sending a large consignment of coronavirus vaccines.
The Narendra Modi-led Indian government has sent 100,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine to Rihanna’s country Barbados under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative. On Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar announced on Twitter that Barbados had received Made in India vaccines.
On Sunday, India had dispatched two consignments of Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) to Barbados and Dominica under the Vaccine Maitri initiative. As vaccines reached Barbados’ shores, Prime Minister Mia Mottley expressed her gratitude to the Indian government.
Barbados PM Mia Mottley shared a video of the vaccine consignment being received by herself and her colleagues, thanking PM Modi for the ‘quick, decisive and magnanimous’ action.
India's gift of 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines arrived Barbados earlier today. This was a very special moment for all Barbadians and I want to thank Prime Minister Modi for his quick, decisive, and magnanimous action in allowing us to be the beneficiary of these vaccines. pic.twitter.com/cSCb40c2mt— Mia Amor Mottley (@miaamormottley) February 10, 2021
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for 100,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca anti-coronavirus vaccine. In a letter to PM Modi on February 4, Mottley said, “On behalf of my government and people, I wish you to express gratitude to you, your government and the people of the Republic of India for the most generous donation of the Covishield vaccine (under the auspices of Oxford AstraZeneca).”
Mottley’s statement expressing gratitude to India came just a few days after Barbadian singer-activist Rihanna had sparked outrage in India for expressing ‘solidarity’ with protestors who had attempted an insurrection against the country. Rihanna’s attempts to interfere in the country’s affairs had triggered sharp reaction from Indians, especially after it was found that the famous singer had probably tweeted under a paid PR campaign by forces trying to trigger unrest in India.
A ‘toolkit’ accidentally shared by self-proclaimed climate activist Greta Thunberg had revealed that there was an elaborate and detailed plan to start violent agitations in India and get international celebrities to tweet in favour of the agitation. Rihanna’s tweet was copied verbatim from the ‘toolkit’.
For the uninitiated, Rihanna hails from Barbados. She was born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown.
India’s vaccine diplomacy
India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has yet again come to the world’s aid by successfully supplying vaccines to its neighbouring and other developing countries at an extremely affordable cost, besides giving away millions of doses to friendly nations for free. India has airlifted more than 6 million COVID-19 doses to nine countries in Phase-I under its initiative termed “Vaccine Maitri”.
The Modi government’s vaccine diplomacy has taken wings and has delivered vaccines to most of its neighbours. Under the initiative, India sent a gift of two million doses of Covishield vaccine to Dhaka on January 21 and facilitated a commercial contract of 30 million doses with vaccine manufacturer SII. Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have received India’s COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance in tune with country’s “Neighbourhood First” policy.
In addition to that, India will send 1 lakh anti-Covid shots to Oman, a close partner in the Gulf. Later this week, India is scheduled to deliver over 5 lakh doses to Afghanistan and send 2 lakh doses to Nicaragua, 70,000 to Dominica and 1.5 lakh to Mongolia, besides the doses sent to Barbados.
Under commercial deals, Egypt, Algeria, UAE, and Kuwait have all purchased vaccines directly from the SII. The purchases are made commercially but need export clearance from the Indian government.
Meanwhile, India has begun the world’s largest coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being inoculated to frontline health workers across the country. The country plans to vaccinate about 300 million citizens in the first six months.