Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, 1 March 2018 - His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, and founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), today met with Honourable Shri C.Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Raj Bhavan, as well as Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who called upon him at his hotel.
Honourable Shri C.Vidyasagar Rao congratulated His Highness on his Diamond Jubilee and expressed his admiration for the Aga Khan’s service to humanity. They discussed the areas in which institutions in Maharashtra and agencies of the AKDN could explore collaboration to address capacity-building and improved livelihoods among rural populations.
Both leaders saw opportunities for continued cooperation in the fields of education and healthcare. In education, the Government of Maharashtra expressed interest in AKDN’s partnerships with universities. In healthcare, the AKDN’s emphasis on developing expertise in the areas of oncology and cardiology were viewed as aligned with the Government’s priorities.
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra recognised His Highness’ contributions to development in Maharashtra, in India and worldwide. The two leaders discussed strengthening of the AKDN’s commitment to the health and education sectors in Maharashtra. In particular, the planned upgrading of specialised medical services in areas of particular need as well as improved educational programmes were considered. The dignitaries exchanged views on how the AKDN’s breadth of experience in rural development, revitalisation of heritage and urban renewal can be adapted and shared in Maharashtra.
Later in the day, the Aga Khan met with members of the Ismaili Community, who were gathered in Kalina, on the grounds graciously made available by the University of Mumbai. He departed in the evening, drawing a close to his 10-day official visit on the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee, and expressed gratitude for the continued cooperation and support of the government and for the courtesies extended to him throughout his visit.
For more information, please contact:
Aga Khan Council for India
The Ismaili Imamat and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) have a long and historic relationship with India, dating back 100 years to the first Aga Khan School in Mundra, Gujarat, which was established by the Aga Khan’s grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, in 1905.
Today, AKDN institutions in India work in close partnership with governments and communities to address a broad spectrum of development priorities in the country, including cultural revitalisation, education, health care, drinking water and sanitation, agriculture and the environment, rural development and access to finance for less privileged communities.
These initiatives include rural support programmes that have benefitted over 1.5 million people in over 2,500 villages, the creation of 6,600 community institutions, urban and rural education programmes providing education to 8,500 students every year, a comprehensive sanitation initiative in six states, the Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad, and a 162-bed multi-specialty acute care hospital in Mumbai. AKDN institutions in India have been widely recognised for their work, which is frequently replicated by governmental institutions as well as other development organisations.