Ambassador delivered on 17th June 2019 during the send-off ceremony of 14 ICCR students to Indian universities
Minister of Higher and tertiary Education Hon’ble Amon Murwira
Executive Director, Scholarship in OPC Dr. Chris Mushowe
Senior officials of the Government of Zimbabwe
Parents of the Candidates
My dear students
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a very happy occasion for me this morning to organize this sending off ceremony of the successful candidates of ICCR Scholarship students. I would like to, at the very outset congratulate you all on your being selected for this prestigious scholarship by Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).
ICCR offers 22 scholarships to Zimbabwe every year for various courses. These fourteen students are the first batch for this year. We will very soon receive sanction for the remaining students. Hon’ble Minister, the Embassy went through a very rigorous process of selecting these meritous students. We received more than 200 applicants. The selection process is purely on the basis of merit. The Embassy recommended only those students who score 12 points and above to ICCR. Therefore these students are deserving students.
We have a mix of courses selected by the candidates- from Humanities to Engineering (electronics, Mechanical, Aircraft), Mathematics and Statistics, Business Administration, and Commerce. While seven students are going for Under-graduation course, six are for Post-graduation course and one for PH.D course.
My dear friends, your places of study is scattered all over India. While the primary objective of your going to India is to study and be successful, you are also cultural Ambassadors of both Zimbabwe and later will be for India as well. You represent Zimbabwe and its people. I have no doubt that you will do that well. On the other hand, ICCR will also expect you to not only excel in your academics, but also absorb the culture of India that will ultimately lead to appreciation of India’s pluralistic culture. And that you can be meaningful bridges and reinforce in the relation of the governments and peoples of these two beautiful countries.
I am sure many of you are going to India for the first time. You may have many concerns including how to deal with so many people. But let me tell you, Indians of all provinces are friendly people. You cannot imagine a country with 1.3 billion peace loving and harmonious people who are not unfriendly. The fact that today India is moving forward in all spheres is because though we belong to hundreds of ethnic groups, be strongly believe in unity in diversity. That is our strength. And I am sure you will enjoy observing this aspect of India’s culture. Enjoy the culture, Cuisine, the people. Make friends and know them.
Only issue you may face is, because we are so many, they will give a tough competition. We Indians are very hard working people. But I am hopeful that you will stand up to these challenges. I will be very happy if you beat them in your academic performance. If you manage to do this, which I am sure you can, then when you return to Zimbabwe or when you go to any challenging country in the world, you will find yourself comfortable because you have already faced Indians.