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Sweden’s royal couple to help clean Mumbai beach

Mumbai, Dec 3 (IANS) Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will take part in a clean-up drive at the Versova Beach, Andheri West, and pay homage to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes, during their visit starting here on Wednesday.

The Swedish royal couple will arrive in Mumbai tomorrow on the second leg of their ongoing five-day state visit to India — the second visit of the Swedish royal couple to this country after 1993 and the first-ever to Mumbai, said Sweden’s Consul-General in Mumbai, Anna Lekvall.

“As part of the #SwedenIndiaSambandh Campaign, the Consulate-General here and the Rise Against Hunger India (RAHI), have lit up the 5.6 km long Rajiv Gandhi Bandra Worli Sea Link from Tuesday-to-Thursday in the Swedish flag colours in honour of the royal visit,” Lekvall added.

This time, the royal couple will aim to strengthen the existing good relations between India and Sweden and promote Swedish-Indian cooperation, address common challenges like climate change/environment, infrastructure, research, health, enhanced trade and investment in both countries, etc, she said.

After the beach clean-up drive, the royal couple will be the guest of Maharashtra Governor B.S. Koshyari who will host a lunch for them, followed by a visit to the Door Step School which provides education for underprivileged first-generation learner kids.

They will then visit the 26/11 Taj Memorial in honour of the victims of Mumbai terror strikes and in the evening the King will join a round-table with members of the families who have built Mumbai.

The royal couple will attend TEKLA, a two-day workshop to attract girls and women into the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and the Tekla and Gender Parity Dialogue session to correct the imbalance of girls and women in the tech sector.

The Swedish royals are accompanied by their ministers and a high-level business delegation of all types of companies, besides government agencies and university representatives.

Among the high-level exchanges, the current Swedish royals’ second state visit is at the invitation of President R.N. Kovind and earlier, former President Pranab Mukherjee had made a historic state visit to Sweden.

In 2016, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven visited India and in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a return visit to that country.