The government of India handed over outdoor fitness equipment, which are to be installed in 61 islands, to Maldives on Monday.
The equipment, procured with the financial support of the Indian government, was presented by Indian High Commissioner to Maldives Sanjay Sudhir, and received on behalf of the Maldivian administration by Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof at a special ceremony held at the National Football Stadium.
The Indian government approved the MVR 8 million project on May 28, 2019. It was funded under the MVR 106 million grant assistance extended by India, in March 2019, for socio-economic development projects in Maldives.
According to the foreign ministry, the Indian grant assistance covered the procurement of the equipment, while the Maldivian government will carry out the transportation and installation works under the supervision of the youth ministry.
Speaking after the handover, Youth Minister Mahloof hailed the government of India for its continuous support to Maldives.
He stated that the outdoor fitness equipment is an advancement to the electoral pledge of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration to improve access to fitness and exercise equipment across the country, and therefore promote healthier lifestyles.
Mahloof further announced that the Indian government will also assist in the development of children's parks across 68 islands in Maldives. He expressed hopes that this project will be completed within the next four months.
In addition to High Commissioner Sudhir and Minister Mahloof, the ceremony was also attended by former president and incumbent Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, officials from the Maldivian government and Indian High Commission, as well as parliamentary representatives of the constituencies where the fitness equipment will be installed.