A Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Preservation of Ashram Maha Russey Temple, Sambor Prei Kuk, Kampong Thom province, Cambodia has been inked recently between Cambodia and India, on the occasion of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (ICC-Angkor) meeting.

H.E. Phann Nady, General Director, National Authority for Sambor Prei Kuk, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, and H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Cambodia, were the signatories.

According to a press release of the Embassy of India, the MoU signing ceremony was graced by H.E. Dr. Phoeurng Sackona, Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, and Chairman of the APSARA National Authority, Co-Chairmen from France and Japan, distinguished experts and delegates from various countries.

This initiative is a part of Government of India’s Quick Impact Project (QIP) Scheme under the framework of Mekong Ganga Cooperation. The Government of India cooperates with the Royal Government of Cambodia on many grant assistance programmes that contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the people of Cambodia. Under the QIP Scheme, the Government of India implements 10 projects every year in Cambodia by providing a funding of up to US$ 50,000/- each per project.

Since 2015-16, the Government of India has approved 46 projects in the fields of IT, agriculture, health, sanitation, women’s empowerment, child welfare, rural development, social infrastructure (including capacity building), environment, etc. Out of 46 projects, 21 projects have already been completed and the remaining 25 projects are at various stages of execution. These projects have received overwhelming response and created a distinct and visible impact not only among the beneficiaries but also in the larger community.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Phann Nady thanked the Government and Embassy of India for providing grants for this project that would create a source of livelihood for the local community residing in Kampong Thom province. The project will add to the skills of the local community who would be hired and trained for work in the Sambor Prei Kuk complex.

While expressing her appreciation on signing of the MoU, H.E. Dr. Devyani Khobragade stated that this project would be completed in one year. Once completed, this will not only increase the footfalls of tourists in this area but would also strengthen the cultural relations between the two countries.

H.E. Ambassador stressed on the positive impact of QIP projects towards the enhancement of the overall bilateral relationship and good will between the people of India and Cambodia. This year, the focus of QIPs will be on health, tourism development, education-digital education with particular focus on women literacy. She also added that it is her chief endeavor to support projects, which will have a direct impact on the lives of people who are marginalised and below poverty line, women and children in particular.

Ashram Maha Russey Temple is a UNESCO world heritage site in Cambodia, a symbol of Hindu architecture and connected with Lord Shiva. The temple was constructed in the middle of 7th century during the period of king Isanavarman I.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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