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Fiji Time: 6:22 PM on Sunday 20 April

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PM calls on India for training opportunities

Mereseini Marau In New Delhi, India
Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Prime Minister wants India to provide more training opportunities for Fiji's rural dwellers.

Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said this would help improve their living standards.

He said this during a meeting with a group of women from Cakaudrove, Bua, Macuata, Ra and Kadavu who are on a six-month training attachment at Barefoot College in Tilonia in the state of Rajasthan.

"We need a lot of training opportunities like this," said Commodore Bainimarama.

The women are learning how to use alternative energy as a source of electricity.

The training will enable them to assemble solar-powered lamps which could light up villages in Fiji that do not have electricity.

Speaking to the women, Commodore Bainimarama said their skills learnt from Barefoot College would help light up houses in Fiji without electricity.

Barefoot College head Laxman Singh said the Fijian women were the friendliest lot of all the foreign students studying there and that he enjoyed working with them.

"Whatever they learn from here will help them in their villages," he said.

"We're really impressed with the way the women have grasped whatever we've taught them."

Marica Caginitoba, 52, from Nabouono in Udu, Macuata, said whatever skills she acquired would be put to good use in her village and that being away from home for six months to learn something for the betterment of her village would not go to waste.

Reapi Nawaitale, 56, of Naidamudamu in Tavuki, Kadavu, said she really appreciated the training, and that although they missed home it was worth it.

Ms Nawaitale said since arriving at their college they had not met other Fijians.

The meeting at the Shangri La's Eros Hotel in New Delhi gave them an opportunity to meet other Fijian students who are studying in Delhi.