U.S. Ambassador Richard R. Verma’s Visit to Uttarakhand March 5-6 2016

Ambassador Verma concentrated on economic, spiritual, and maternal health during his first official visit to Uttarakhand on March 5-6, 2016

In a meeting with the state’s Cabinet Minister Dinesh Agarwal and Chief Secretary Shatrughna Singh, Ambassador Verma discussed the fast-growing state’s successful experience attracting investment in diverse areas, as well as opportunities to cooperate on energy, disaster management and smart cities.

Saturday evening at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, led by Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, Ambassador Verma participated in the moving Aarthi ceremony, as well as the Ashram’s annual Yoga festival.  At the same event, the Ambassador discussed the continuing close cooperation between the U.S. Embassy and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance of which Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji is co-chair.

The Ambassador also visited the sub-district hospital in Narendra Nagar where he met and spoke with families and healthcare providers.  Delivery services are among the most important being delivered at this hospital, and USAID, through its Scaling up Reproductive Maternal Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health project is providing technical assistance to this facility and others like it throughout North India  to improve care by ensuring the availability of essential commodities and drugs, building the skills of healthcare providers, and improving the physical infrastructure in the delivery room – improving service and reducing maternal and child deaths.

Ambassador Verma said after his trip: “We were delighted to visit with government and community leaders in Uttarakhand, a place of stunning natural beauty and a state filled with enormous talent, ingenuity, and leaders across many sectors.  We are committed to expanding our commercial ties and our joint research and work in so many areas, like health, clean water, and disaster management.  The promise of the US/India partnership shines brightly here.  I look forward to returning again soon.”