India under PM Narendra Modi has always followed meticulous and well-calculated foreign policy choices, under which, the constants have been “neighbourhood first” and “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. Following these constants, India, which has become synonymous with words like, ‘World’s Pharmacy’, has taken up the task to provide much requested and highly effective COVID-19 vaccines to its neighbours and the world with godspeed.
As a result, countries from Brazil to Bangladesh, and from the USA to the Maldives have been congratulating India for its herculean efforts and at the same time recognising India’s entry into the group of Big-wigs, a necessary step in New Delhi’s stride to become the ‘Jagat Guru’.
The capacity of India to inoculate its citizens and simultaneously export the vaccine to the world shows the good intention of the Indian government and sets a precedent on how responsible global powers should act. Recently the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro thanked PM Modi for the vaccine, sharing a picture of Lord Hanuman carrying the Sanjveeni booti from the epic Ramayana.
Namaskar, Prime Minister @narendramodi
Brazil feels honoured to have a great partner to overcome a global obstacle by joining efforts.
Thank you for assisting us with the vaccines exports from India to Brazil.
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) January 22, 2021
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), in a press release, said that the Covishield vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, departed from CSMIA carrying 2 million doses to Brazil via Emirates Sky Cargo and 2 million doses to Morocco on Royal Air Maroc.
These consignments are the first commercial ones, and before this, India had already sent multiple vaccines as gifts and a sign of its “Neighbourhood First” Policy which include COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance to Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles. Even these countries have shared their gratitude towards India for its excellent vaccine diplomacy.
— Mohamed Nasheed (@MohamedNasheed) January 20, 2021
I thank Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji as well as the Government and people of India for the generous grant of one million doses of COVID vaccine to Nepal at this critical time when India is rolling out vaccination for it's own people. pic.twitter.com/uO7qQpLiSx
— K P Sharma Oli (@kpsharmaoli) January 21, 2021
On Saturday, even the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recognised the efforts of India and even though being a Chinese stooge, had to thank India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the support to the global COVID-19 response. This may be the only evidence needed to signal how India’s ‘Live and let live’ and ‘No strings attached’ vaccine diplomacy has trampled over the shrewd and full of evil designs Chinese vaccine diplomacy.
Thank you #India and Prime Minister @narendramodi for your continued support to the global #COVID19 response. Only if we #ACTogether, including sharing of knowledge, can we stop this virus and save lives and livelihoods.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) January 23, 2021
The official Twitter account of US Department of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) also shared a post lauding and recognising India’s significant contribution towards global health by sharing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia and beyond.
“We applaud India’s role in global health, sharing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia. India’s free shipments of the vaccine began w/Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh & Nepal & will extend to others. India’s a true friend using its pharma to help the global community,” the tweet read.
We applaud India’s role in global health, sharing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia. India's free shipments of vaccine began w/Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh & Nepal & will extend to others. India's a true friend using its pharma to help the global community.
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) January 22, 2021
All this recognition and applause is a clear sign of how successful India’s vaccine diplomacy has been, considering it is in the very early phase and production, inoculation and export will only pick up further going ahead. India’s entry into the vaccine supply chains has shown the world how countries with the capacity to help others should act and what responsible great powers should aspire to become.