The Indian community in Kuwait has once again been left disappointed as the government of India overlooked the immense contribution made by the Indian community in Kuwait over the past half century. More than 900,000 Indians work and live in Kuwait forming the largest expatriate community in the country. The embassy of India recommended five Indians for the award this year and there was a strong feeling that members of the community that some of them would be recognized by the government for their services rendered to the community in various fields.
Speaking to The Times, several Indians expressed disappointment that Kuwait has been overlooked time and again. Inspite of the difficult conditions and laws that are not expatriate friendly, Indians have managed to make a good impression among the local leadership. More than 300 associations registered with the Indian embassy actively participate in social, cultural, and charitable activities and also on contribute generously to calamities back home including national disasters and to charitable institutions through the Prime Minister of India Relief Fund.
The community is vibrant and active, and is always applauded by the local leadership to visiting Indian officials for their hard work and sincerity. The Indian community has been the preferred choice across all forms of employment and Indians contribution to the progress and development of Kuwait has been acknowledged and appreciated.
In the last 14 editions of the Pravasi Awards only two awards were handed out to the community, one for an individual doctor and one for the Indian Doctors' Forum association for their services to the community, whereas Indians in neighboring Gulf states have been recognized for their contributions in other fields such as business, culture, education and philanthropy.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) is the highest honor conferred on overseas Indians. PBSA is conferred by the Hon’ble President of India as a part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conventions organized annually since 2003 on Non-Resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin or an organization or institution established and run by the Non-Resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin in recognition of their outstanding achievements both in India and abroad.
The 14th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention was held in Bengaluru from 7-9 January, 2017. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards were conferred by the Hon’ble President at the PBD Convention on 9 January, 2017 in the valedictory session of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations in an impressive ceremony.
An 11-member Jury-cum-Awards Committee, with Hon’ble Vice-President as Chairman and Hon’ble External Affairs as Vice-Chairman and nine other distinguished members from various walks of life, considered the nominations for the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards, 2017 and had unanimously thirty awardees. Ms. Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State, Department of State, delivered the acceptance speech on behalf of the awardees.
The list of thirty awardees is as follows: