New Delhi: India on Thursday handed over 600 tonnes of rice and relief material to flood-hit Madagascar, the Navy said. Indian Naval Ship (INS) Shardul, carrying 600 tonnes of rice, entered Port Antsiranana, Madagascar on Tuesday. "The ship was carrying 600 tonnes of rice as per directives of Govt of India," a statement said. An official ceremony for handing over the rice from Government of India to Government of Madagascar was held on board INS Shardul on Thursday. The ceremony was attended by the Madagascar Foreign Minister Tehindrazanarivelo Djacoba and various high ranking officials from the Madagascar defense forces and civilian organizations. The Indian side was represented by Ambassador of India to Madagascar Abhay Kumar and the ship's Commanding Officer, Cdr Abhishek Pathak. "The foreign minister of Madagascar appreciated the assistance provided by India and the Indian Navy. He described India as a true friend who is always there during the time of need," the statement added. Heavy rains hit the island nation in January affecting thousands.
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