The Prince of Wales yesterday began a two-day tour of India with a schedule packed of engagements.
On his first day, Prince Charles visited the National Weather Forecasting Centre, where heard about the new cyclone forecasting system. India is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and the new early system has helped India and other countries to prepare and respond faster to cyclones.
Charles took a tour of the Control Room, where he learnt how the centre tracks and forecasts cyclones and other potential disasters by using satellite pictures.
At Sun Mobility, The Prince of Wales met Yuvraj Sarda, the Head of Strategy, who introduced the work of the company in innovating designs for electric vehicles in India.
The Prince was also shown a battery charging station and a charging demonstration. Before departing, Prince Charles took a ride in an electronic rickshaw, driven by Mariya, one of a growing number of female rickshaw drivers in India. She said: “I was very happy to drive the Prince and I wasn’t nervous, it was great.”
— Aravind (@sampatharavind) November 13, 2019
The Prince of Wales on day one of the royal visit to India.
— PA Images (@PAImages) November 13, 2019
Earlier in the day, His Royal Highness met volunteers being honoured with a Commonwealth Points of Light award and presented them with the award.
The initiative was first established by the then American President George Bush Sr. in 1990 and was launched in the UK in 2014 by former Prime Minister David Cameron, as a way to recognise the achievements of outstanding individual volunteers who are making a change in their community.
The Prince of Wales also attended a meeting with Indias’s President Ram Nath Kovind at his official residence Rashtrapati Bhavan. Then, the Prince and the President joined the Minister of State of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy in the Rashtrapati Herbal Garden.
Dr Abdul Kalam, former President of India, established the Gardens in the Rastrapati Bhavan Estate in 2002, with the aim to promote natural remedies, using the help and supervision of the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. Around 33 medicinal and aromatic plants are grown in these gardens. It is known that Charles believes in some non-medical based treatments.
There, the future King heard about the significance of Ayurvedic medicines and the purpose of the garden. After a short tour, the Prince planted a tree commemorating his visit and signed a guest book.
After the meeting, Charles visited the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara Sikh Temple to celebrate the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
Upon his arrival, His Royal Highness was greeted by the President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Committee and the General Secretary of Bangla Sahib. The Prince was also introduced to prominent members of the Sikh community and was shown around the Gurdwara where he saw worshippers performing hymns.
The Prince of Wales, @ClarenceHouse, was at Bangla Sahib Gurdwara Sikh Temple in New Delhi, India yesterday.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) November 14, 2019
Prince Charles also spent time visiting the temple’s kitchens to watch staff preparing food to feed thousands of visitors. After chatting with the royal guest, an Indian woman who were eating there said: “He was asking what the food was and if we thought it was any good, it’s lovely.”
He even had the chance to help cook rotis!
Before departing, Prince Charles viewed the Sarovar pool and had tea with the senior Sikh delegation.
During his visit, the Prince said: “Sikhs have made the most profound contribution to the life of this country, and continue to do so, in every imaginable field.”
Moving on to the Delhi War Cemetery, Prince Charles attended a Service of Remembrance and wreath laying. The cemetery was created in 1951 when graves from many cemeteries in northern India were moved to the site to ensure their permanent maintenance. Among them are graves from cantonment cemeteries in Allahabad, Cawnpore, Dehra Dun and Lucknow.
Whilst in New Delhi, The Prince of Wales attended a Service of Remembrance at Delhi War Cemetery.
During the service, HRH laid a wreath and read the Kohima Epitaph to commemorate all those who gave their lives for their country. pic.twitter.com/Gr4FaBzVTd
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) November 14, 2019
Here, Prince Charles laid a wreath made of Khadi poppies and delivered a short reading. He also visited graves before meeting Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) gardeners that tend to the cemetery.
On his last engagement of the day, The Prince of Wales met with the Advisory Board of the British Asian Trust at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. He also met singer Katy Perry, who had heard about the work of the Trust and joined other supporters to learn more about the charity.
Founded in 2007 by The Prince of Wales and a group of British Asian business leaders, The British Asian Trust has four areas of programme work: education, livelihoods, anti-trafficking and mental health. The organisation has supported more than four million people in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh since its creation.