Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru and applauded Indians living in foreign lands for their contribution to the country. He said that engagement with the overseas Indian community has been a key area of priority for his government. “Indians abroad are valued not just for their strength in numbers. They are respected for the contributions they make,” he said.
Hailing the Indians abroad he said, “Our diaspora has supported the Government’s moves against corruption and black money. We welcome all your efforts that seek to strengthen India’s partnership with the overseas Indian community. I would again encourage all PIO Card holders to convert their PIO Cards to OCI Cards.”
Stating that the welfare and safety of all Indians abroad is the government’s top priority, he said that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been proactive and prompt in reaching out to distressed Indians abroad using social media. “The security of Indian nationals abroad is of utmost importance to us,” he said.
He also said that the government will try to provide maximum facilitation and ensure least inconvenience to those workers who seek economic opportunities abroad.
The main convention was inaugurated by the PM along with his Portuguese counterpart Dr Antonio Costa who is the chief guest for the event.
President Pranab Mukherjee is slated to confer Pravasi Bhartiya Samman on Monday. Suriname Vice-President Michael Ashwin Adhin, along with Union Minister Vijay Goel, Minister of State for External Affairs General V. K. Singh and Karantaka ministers R.V. Deshpande and Priyanka Kharge inaugurated the Youth Pravasi Bhartiya Divas on the first day of the event.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is held on January 9 to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi as a Pravasi from South Africa to India. It is a platform for building ties of Central and state governments with Overseas Indian Community.