New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs and Uttar Pradesh government hosted 72 Heads of Mission - Ambassadors and High Commissioners - on Saturday in Prayagraj. This visit was to showcase the preparedness for the next months grand Kumbha Mela.
Prayagraj Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019 will take place at Triveni Sangam in UP's Prayagraj from January 15 to March 2019. Minister of State in Ministry of External Affairs General VK Singh led the delegation of diplomats.
Speaking to WION after the one day visit, Dean of Diplomatic Corps Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, said, "The visit was extremely well prepared and organised by both the UP govt as well as MEA. Kudos to the chief of protocol, MEA MOS General VK Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for having the vision for this group visit by the head of mission to go to Kumbh Mela and personally experience what so many of our citizens come to India to experience."
Dean of the diplomatic corps is the representative of the diplomatic missions and is the person who deals with the government on behalf of the diplomatic community in the country. Dean of the diplomatic corps is an ambassador of a particular country. Frank Hans Dannenberg Castellanos is the Ambassador of Dominican Republic to India.
He said all heads of Mission were satisfied and "staff of MEA went above and beyond the call of duty in making this visit a successful one." He added that the visit will "bring more confidence in travellers in our country when they visit here(Kumbh Mela). When they ask our embassy for an opinion if they should go to Kumbh. UP govt working with central govt to better develop the facility, to better develop the area. "
He thanked Prime Minister Modi and also said, "It was a personal decision of him to make sure that we as heads of mission posted in India have this experience."
The Kumbh Mela has been inscribed on the list of "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO in 2017.