Today is an important day for the historic city of Delhi. Our capital city will have a great addition to its open public spaces in the form of Sunder Nursery. What has really made the occasion all the more special is the presence of His Highness Prince Aga Khan amidst us. — Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, India’s Vice President
The Vice President of India’s Tribute to His Highness the Aga Khan
The following are excerpts from remarks made by India’s Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, on February 21, 2018 at the opening ceremony of the Sunder Nursery in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan.
Today is an important day for the historic city of Delhi. Our capital city will have a great addition to its open public spaces in the form of Sunder Nursery.
What has really made the occasion all the more special is the presence of His Highness Prince Aga Khan amidst us.
Your Highness, we are presently in the backdrop of the dargah of one of the most respected Sufi saints on the Indian subcontinent, Hazrat Nizamuddin.
Nizamuddin Auliya’s message is timeless and universal. It is a message that emphasizes love as a means of realizing God.
Amir Khusro, the great poet, a great son of India and the most admired disciple of Hazrat Nizamuddin says:
“Khusrau Darya prem ka, ulti wa ki dhaar,
Jo utra so doob gaya, jo dooba so paar”
“Oh Khusrau, the river of love runs in strange directions.
One who drowns gets across to the other side”
For Nizamuddin Auliya, like many great saints of India, love of God implied the love of humanity.
It is quite befitting that this inaugural ceremony is being held in your presence, Your Highness, because you have demonstrated this spirit of love of humanity through your innumerable activities.
Your Highness, on behalf of the Government and people of India, I extend a very warm welcome to you. We all congratulate you on the Diamond Jubilee of your leadership.
The celebration of Diamond Jubilee of your leadership is also an occasion to reflect on your long and deep association with our country.
People of India have great admiration and immense respect for you and for the global network that you lead.
The public service that you have rendered selflessly to our citizens in vital development areas like education, health, microfinance, and sanitation, and the professional and innovative manner in which the projects are implemented, is truly an inspiration to all of us.
The work that has been accomplished so far at the Humayun Tomb-Nizamuddin Basti-Sundar Nursery complex is magnificent and truly impressive.
Sunder Nursery is an excellent example of public-private partnership in an urban development project and is in line with Government’s focus on improving cleanliness as well as quality of life of the citizens.
I would like to congratulate the team of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Aga Khan Foundation which has implemented the Sunder Nursery Park as a part of the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative.
The initiative has fully met its three objectives of conservation of Humayun’s Tomb and its adjacent monuments; improving the quality of life for the citizens; and the development of the Sunder Nursery into a world class park.
It demonstrates the promising pathway for future projects of restoration of the historical monuments.
Not only are we preserving the past but we are also laying a foundation for a great, sustainable future. The innovative blending of heritage restoration, environment protection and employment creation is the best way forward.
Your Highness, we are also very happy to be working with the Aga Khan Foundation, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) on the historic Stor Palace in Kabul. That too is a project which has been implemented with the characteristic innovativeness and professionalism that you are so well known for.
Your visit to India will help us even further enhance the momentum of this very unique relationship which we share with the Aga Khan Development Network and its sister organizations.
Your Highness, I thank you once again and wish you a pleasant stay in India.
Thank you. Jai Hind!
Date posted: February 22, 2018.
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