Varanasi, Jan 21 (IANS) India is a land of limitless opportunities and Pravasi Bharatiyas are and will continue to be partners in the progress of our motherland, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said while she inaugurated the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas on Monday here.
Swaraj emphasized that shared identity and shared commonness are the key features which “bind us together and will grow manifold in years to come”.
The Minister said that the story of Pravasi Bharatiya is a tale of courage, determination and character and cited the examples of Google CEO, Sunder Pichai, Microsoft COO Satya Nadella, IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath to name a few.
The 15th Edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas got off to a grand start at Deendayal Hastakala Sankul in Varanasi in the presence of Union Minister of State and in-charge of Overseas Indian Affairs General V. K. Singh (Retd.) along with the Guests of Honour Member of Parliament of Norway Himanshu Gulati, and MP from New Zealand Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi.
Union Minister of State Information and Broadcasting and Sports and Youth Affairs, Colonel Rajyavardhan Rathore, who was also present on the occasion, spoke about the unique and binding force of Indian identity and said Pravasi Bharatiya community is India’s best ambassador. Lauding the role of NRIs in preserving their cultural values, Rathore also urged them to join in the building of a “New India”.
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath said Uttar Pradesh looks up to the diaspora community for its valued contribution.
Recalling his parent’s journey from India to Norway 40 years ago, Himanshu Gulati said: “Natural resource are our biggest assets and youth must imbibe the values of Mahatma Gandhi: Be the change you want to see.”
Guest of Honour, MP from New Zealand, Kanwaljeet Singh Bakshi said agriculture and horticulture are key areas in which India and New Zealand can collaborate.
He put up a request for dual citizenship and nomination of NRIs to Rajya Sabha for active participation in politics and urged people to take pride in their culture and heritage.
The theme for this year Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is ‘Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India’.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally inaugurate the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention on Tuesday, with Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth being the Chief Guest. The valedictory address and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards will be given by President Ram Nath Kovind to select overseas Indians for their significant contributions in India and abroad.
After the convention, participants will visit Prayagraj for Kumbh Mela on January 24. They will then proceed to Delhi on January 25 to witness the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath.