His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritualleader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims on Thursday said the Aga KhanDevelopment Network (AKDN) will closely work with the Maharashtragovernment especially in the areas of agriculture and rural support.
Appreciating the efforts of the government for tribal development,the Aga Khan said he will consider extending support to incompleteirrigation projects in Maharashtra and creating livelihoodopportunities for tribals.
The Aga Khan, currently on his diamond jubilee visit to India, wasspeaking to state Governor C Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan, here on Thursday.
Informing the Governor that AKDN was working closely with MIT andHarvard for a programme on Architecture and Design, the Aga Khansaid AKDN was also keen to work closely with the University ofMumbai. He said AKDN would assist the University in designing and developingdegree or diploma programmes in heritage conservation.
The Aga Khan informed the Governor that AKDN was concentrating ondevelopmental work in six states of India, including Maharashtra. He said the organisation was mainly working in the areas ofeducation, healthcare, rural development and agriculture.
Congratulating the Aga Khan on the diamond jubilee of his Imamat,Governor Rao said, "The world needs a person like His Highness theAga Khan to convey the message of Islam."He was full of praise for the Aga Khan for the latter's humanitarian services.
Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed theintention of the government to double the income of farmers by 2022,the Governor welcomed the offer of cooperation in agricultureextended by the Aga Khan. The Governor also sought assistance of AKDN in creating an Aga KhanAcademy of Archery to offer quality training in archery tosportspersons from rural and tribal areas of Maharashtra. The Governor assured full support to AKDN in collaborating with theUniversity of Mumbai.
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