Delegates warm up for G20 Sherpa meeting in Kerala with side events

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Delegates at the Second Sherpa meeting of the G20 Summit in Kumarakom in Kottayam district | Photo: PTI

Kumarakom: Thousands of miles away from her country with much of it being below sea level, a woman diplomat of Netherlands was excited to see a bicycle placed at a resort on the bank of a beautiful lake in this scenic Kerala village where side events of the second G20 Sherpa meeting are currently underway.

The bicycle was placed in front of a screen that was erected to showcase CoWIN, a powerful example of how digital technology can expand public health programmes, and reflects the strides India, world's most populated nation, continues to make in digital technology for public services.

As she pedaled the stationary bicycle, the screen displayed the fascinating story of India which as of March, 20, 2023 delivered 2.2 billion vaccination doses to 1.1 billion registered persons.

Cycling is part of Dutch life and a very patriotic means of transportation for them.

"I did experiment cycling. As a Dutch woman, I love cycling", she told PTl.

Dr Kalyani Raju, a young medical doctor assigned to narrate India's success story to the delegates, said the Dutch delegates really enjoyed pedalling the cycle and took note of the presentation.

She informed the delegates about the historic achievement of the nation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled CoWIN along with the launch of the national Covid-19 vaccination campaign on January 16, 2021.

Indian officials said it was indeed a moment marking the beginning of a story that touched over a billion lives in less than 18 months.

They said it took almost nine months to reach the 100 crore mark and another nine months to reach the 200 crore vaccination mark, with the highest single day vaccination record of over 2.5 crore doses achieved on 17 September 2021.

Narrating the story of the biggest vaccination drive in the world, India's Sherpa Amitabh Kant informed the delegates that India's vaccination drive was totally paperless.

The Dutch diplomat said the digitalisation is very important for a country like India.

"Netherlands is the most digitalised country in the world. So, we really like this topic...", she said.

She said although it has a lot of difficult issues the topic is one of the solutions for the developed and developing countries to see in future.

With the G20 Presidency this year, India has listed out an accelerated and inclusive path towards its progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), particularly health and education, as the key priorities for the upcoming G20 Summit.

Officials said invoking the G20 Presidency theme of "One Earth One Family One Future" the second Sherpa meet being held here will deleiberate India's experience and leadership in building an inclusive and effective implementation of DPIs that are crucial to accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including financial inclusion, and equitable access to education and health.

Demonstrating the power of the India's Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), NASSCOM along with the industry on Thursday created an immersive Digital India Experience zone, highlighting various DPIs built by India such as Aadhar, UPI, DigiLocker and DIKSHA and its impact on the last mile.

Providing an immersive experience to the Sherpas of the G20 member countries and other dignitaries, the experience zones showcased India's success story in developing a new approach to solving societal and service delivery problems using DPI, while encouraging access to innovation.

The experience zones also showcased the various digitization initiatives, built on the DPIs, in a public-private partnership model, from partner companies such as Microsoft, Google, AWS, TCS, Fractal and PayTM.

Apurva Chandra, secretary Information and Broadcasting Ministry, told the media most of the private companies that are part of this journey have set up their stalls here.

He said the Sherpas were shown how the UPI interface has become ubiquitous in the country and digital payments have become so common, where even street vendors and small time shopkeepers benefit from it.

The diplomats who arrived here on Thursday were given a traditional Kerala style welcome with women chenda artists enthralling them with drumming.

The Dutch diplomat, who came here on Wednesday, said Kerala is a very beautiful 'paradise' destination.

"It's very green, it's very luscious, it's very warm", she said.

Commenting on the performance of women percussionists, she said, "it was beautiful, lovely and women empowerment is very important topic". PTI

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