Mumbai, Mar 1 (PTI) Shia spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, today said Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) will work closely with the Maharashtra government, especially in the area of agriculture and rural support. Also Read - All Not Well In MVA? Congress Will Contest Maharashtra Assembly Polls Alone, Says Nana Patole

Appreciating the efforts of the state government for tribal development, the Aga Khan said he will consider extending support to incomplete irrigation projects in Maharashtra and creating livelihood opportunities for tribals. Also Read - Maharashtra Revises COVID Death Toll Data, Includes 2,288 Old Deaths in Fresh Spike

The 81-year-old founder-chairman of AKDN, on an 11-day visit to India as part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of his leadership, today met Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan here. Also Read - Chain Snatcher WANTED in Over 100 Cases Arrested From Thane's Ambivli

Informing Rao that AKDN is working closely with MIT and Harvard for a programme on architecture and design, the Aga Khan said AKDN is also keen to work closely with the University of Mumbai and would assist it in designing and developing degree or diploma programmes in heritage conservation.

He informed Rao that AKDN is concentrating on developmental work in six states in India including Maharashtra, and the organisation is mainly working in the areas of education, health-care, rural development and agriculture.

Rao lauded the Aga Khan for his humanitarian services, a release from Raj Bhavan said. The Governor also sought AKDN’s help in creating an Aga Khan Academy of Archery to offer quality training to sportspersons from rural and tribal areas of Maharashtra.

The Aga Khan also met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here.

“We discussed efforts for employment generation through forest tourism, village development and water conservation,” Fadnavis said after the meeting.

“Assured all assistance and support from Maharashtra government for all kind of social work of Aga Khan Development Network,” Fadnavis tweeted.

“I am happy to know that Aga Khan Development Network and The Aga Khan health services is considering to set up a Cancer Hospital for children in Mumbai,” the chief minister said.

The Aga Khan also met the management committee of Mumbai University and addressed around 40,000 followers at the university’s Kalina campus here.

Headquartered near Paris, the Aga Khan’s office, through AKDN initiatives, has links with India. Of the 200 schools AKDN has helped establish worldwide, eight schools, a residential hostel, 17 early childhood development and two Aga Khan pre-schools are located in India, including two schools in Mumbai.

Mumbai’s Prince Aly Khan Hospital is named after the current Aga Khan’s father.

In 2015, the Aga Khan was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, one of the country’s highest civilian honours.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.