Dhaka, April 29 (IANS) India will give Rs 350 million to descendants of freedom fighters in the next five years under the new 'Muktijodha scholarship scheme for Bangladesh, Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said.
He was speaking at a scholarship award ceremony in Chittagong on Saturday, bdnews24 reported.
The Muktijodha Scholarship Scheme was started by India in 2006 for descendants of the 1971 freedom fighters. Up to now, more than 10,000 scholarships worth Tk150 million have been disbursed.
This year, scholarships have been awarded to 600 undergraduate students. Of them, 48 were from Chittagong.
Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina's visit to India announced that another 10,000 students will receive scholarships under the new Muktijodha scholarship scheme.
All freedom fighters are now eligible for five years multiple entry Indian visa and 100 of them will be provided free medical treatment in Indian hospitals every year.
Shringla said under the new scheme, students at the higher secondary level will get a onetime grant of Tk 20,000 and those at the undergraduate level will get Tk 50,000.
He said the initiatives announced by Modi reflect "our continued solidarity with the valiant Muktijodhas", the daily reported.
"You have fought shoulder to shoulder with Indian troops in 1971 and continue to be our eternal friends. May Almighty bless you all with good health, prosperity and happiness," he told the freedom fighters gathered at the ceremony.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mosharraf Hossain was also present.