Capito hosts India ambassador in Kanawha Valley visit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito spent the day Wednesday with the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of India Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

Capito and Sandhu had a busy day for the ambassador’s first visit to West Virginia, which culminated with a reception at South Charleston’s India Center that was attended by many of the Kanawha Valley’s Indian community.

“India is a growing, thriving, huge country,” Capito said. “It has a lot of potential from economic development from West Virginia. We visited West Virginia companies that are doing business in India. But I think the potential to do much more is here.”

Sandhu visited with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Wednesday as well as with State Health Officer Dr. Rahul Gupta, also of Indian decent. He visited Kanawha Scales and Systems in Poca, which exports to India.

“I think my favorite aspect here has been that there’s a lot of potential for economic relations between India and the state of West Virginia,” Sandhu said. “Thanks to the leadership of Senator Capito we will take it forward.”

Capito agreed that there are a lot of areas where India and West Virginia should work together.

“I think there’s an area of healthcare where we can work together. And certainly technology; that’s the technology of the future,” she said. “India is known for being high-tech. I learned today the average age in India is 21. So they have a very youthful country with 1.27 billion people.”

Education leaders in West Virginia have emphasized improvement and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, collectively known as STEM. Capito also thought that was an area where India’s excellence could guide the Mountain State.

“India has been very resourceful in the engineering and medical fields. Math, technology, science; we need to get our younger generation involved with that,” Capito explained. “The ambassador talks about how important it is in his country. I hope that our two countries working together and our state working with India can reinforce that.”