The 13th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas convention started in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar on Wednesday, 9 January and the three-day convention marked the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the country’s development. It also aimed at connecting India to its vast overseas diaspora and bring their knowledge, expertise and skills on a common platform.
Aside from NRI delegates from over 58 countries, there were a number of prominent speakers including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Narendra Modi, senior Cabinet ministers, besides prominent NRI personalities spanning the fields of education, politics and business.
The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas is the flagship event of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India. 2015 is the centenary year of the return of Mahatma Gandhi to his motherland from South Africa on January 9, 1915, from where he led freedom struggle against the British.
Chief Ministers of various states spoke about investment to NRI delegates in their respective states. The Hon’ble Vice President Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansar gave the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Awards to individuals of exceptional merit to appreciate their role in India’s growth, during the concluding session. Participants enjoyed cultural programmes held on a big scale on the evenings of January 8 and 9.
Gujarat is the partner country for the event, and the other states who participated in the event were Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra, Kerala and Nagaland.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and US-based astronaut Sunita Williams, who has roots in Gujarat, took part in the ‘Youth PBD’ program at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, the venue of the convention.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas that there is affection and respect for every Indian throughout the world because of the values they possess and not the wealth. He added that it is the responsibility of every Indian, including Pravasis (diaspora) to become the driving force to achieve new results for India.
Cultural performance covered traditional dances from various states of India.
Pravasi Bhartiya Divas
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conventions are being held every year since 2003. These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities.
These conventions are also very useful in networking among the overseas Indian community residing in various parts of the world and enable them to share their experiences in various fields.
During the event, individuals of exceptional merit are honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to appreciate their role in India’s growth. The event also provides a forum for discussing key issues concerning the Indian Diaspora.
NRI delegates from over 58 countries are expected to participate in the event which will have a battery of speakers including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Narendra Modi, senior Cabinet ministers, besides prominent NRI personalities spanning the fields of education, politics and business.