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Celebrating Overseas Indians

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is a beautiful gathering of people revisiting India to discover the growth story since they left offshore to make India proud in countries worldwide. It is a unique occasion where nostalgia meets with a resolve to make India proud.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, early this month. It is an important platform to engage and connect with overseas Indians and enable the diaspora to interact. To mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India, the Government of India celebrates Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD). Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa to India in 1915 is commemorated as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. It was first celebrated on 9 January 2003. Since 2015, PBD Convention has been organised once every two years under a revised format. To date, 16 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conventions have been organised till date. During the Pandemic, the 16th PBD was conducted in a virtual setting with the theme “Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat” in 2021. The Prime Minister released a commemorative postal stamp at the 17th PBD– ‘Surakshit Jaayen, Prashikshit Jaayen’. He also inaugurated the first-ever digital PBD Exhibition on the theme ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – Contribution of Diaspora in Indian Freedom Struggle’. The theme of this PBD Convention is ‘Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal’. Over 3,500 diaspora members from nearly 70 countries have registered for the PBD Convention.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister remarked that the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is taking place in all its glory after a gap of four years and highlighted the significance and joy of personal interaction. Welcoming everyone on occasion on behalf of 130 crore Indians, the Prime remarked that the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is special in numerous ways as India completed 75 years of its independence only recently. He also informed that the firstever digital PBD Exhibition on the theme ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ has also been organised, which brings the glorious era to the fore once again. The Prime Minister highlighted the significant role of Pravasi Bhartiyas in the next 25 years of the journey of Amrit Kaal. The Prime Minister stated they would strengthen India’s unique global vision and role in the global order. The Prime Minister observed that when we look at crores of Pravasi Bhartiyas on the global map, myriad images emerge simultaneously, which paint the picture of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and the feeling of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat comes to the fore when two Pravasi Bhartiyas meet on any foreign land. The Prime Minister noted the enthusiasm among the next generation of Pravasi Bhartiya Youth. He urged the gathering to tell the youth about their country and provide them with occasions to visit it. He stated that every Pravasi Bhartiya is a national ambassador of India as they echo the voice of a powerful and capable India when the world evaluates their contributions. He said that the world was watching India keenly with great curiosity and highlighted the extraordinary achievements of the nation in recent years. The 17th PBD Convention holds significance as it is being organised as a physical event after a gap of four years and the first after the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The last PBD Convention in 2021 was held virtually during the Pandemic.

President of India, Smt.Droupadi Murmu conferred Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards and presided over the Valedictory Session. Five Plenary Sessions were held on the following themes: (i) Role of Diaspora Youth in I n n o v a t i o n a n d N e w Technologies; (ii) Harnessing the Potential of Women Diaspora Entrepreneurs towards an Inclusive Approach to Nation Building; (iii) Leveraging the Soft Power of India – Goodwill through Craft, Cuisine & Creativity; (iv) Exploring Links between Skills and Migration Trends of Indian Workers Abroad; (v) Role of Indian Diaspora in promoting India’s Healthcare Ecosystem in the Amrit Kaal: Vision @2047 In her Valedictory address, the President said that over the last two decades, the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention has served as a unique platform to enable fruitful engagement between the Government, the people of India and the Diaspora. Giving away the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards, The President pointed out that it symbolises the nation’s highest recognition of the Diaspora members for their contributions to India and their home countries. These awards are significant as they not only show our appreciation and acknowledgement of the achievements of the Pravasi but also reflect our faith in their resolve to keep India’s flag flying high in the world. The President said that the collective power and potential of the Indian Diaspora would be a force multiplier in the nation’s inclusive development. She urged every member of the Diaspora family to become a full partner in this journey. She said they could contribute with their energy, experience, ideas, business acumen, investments, technical expertise and knowledge sharing to enhance our capacities to fulfil the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat. The President said that the call of the soil of the Motherland is something that transcends the barriers of time and distance. While the Indian Diaspora has built enriching and productive lives in their adopted homes in different corners of the world, they will always hold a special place in our hearts: not only as extended family members but as responsible stakeholders in India’s development.

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