?Bharatvasi (Indian citizens) and Bharatvanshi (people of Indian origin) together constitute a formidable global Indian community which has excelled in diverse fields,? said former Deputy Prime Minister Shri LK Advani. He was presenting the fourth Bharatvanshi Gaurav Samman to the Human Service Trust of Mauritius in New Delhi on January 11. The function was organised by the Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad (ARSP) to celebrate its 30th anniversary and to confer the Samman.
Recalling how lakhs of Indian indentured workers were forcibly migrated by British to far off countries under horrifying conditions, Shri Advani said the descendents of those indentured workers have accomplished remarkable achievements in social, political and economic fields. ?It is a fact that a man'spotential is fully realised when he faces the challenges posed by displacement from his roots,? he added.
Founded in 1978 as a non-political and non-profit organisation, the ARSP has been working ever since to promote India'sgreat cultural heritage, and create awareness in India about the achievements of PIO'sas well as problems faced by them in their adopted countries.
Bharatvanshi Gaurav Samman, comprising a citation and rupees one lakh, is awarded every year to a PIO/NRI social activist or an institution for outstanding contribution in the filed of service to the society in India or abroad. The earlier awards were conferred on Shri Ranjith Ramnarain of South Africa, Shri Sat Narain Maharaj of Trinidad and Shri Thomas Abraham, chairman GOPIO international USA.
Shri JC Sharma, president of the Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Nyas and former secretary of HLC on Indian diaspora, explained how the destiny of India and Indian diaspora is interwind. ?When India shines, the stock of Indian diaspora rises and when the diaspora excels, it makes India proud,? he said.
Receiving the award, Shri Prem Boojhawon, popularly known as Munshiji, president of Human Service Trust, Mauritius, said he felt humbled by the award. He recalled his long association with the ARSP and announced that the Trust has decided to donate the award money of rupees one lakh towards the construction of Pravasi Bhavan project of ARSP.
Earlier, Shri Shashank, president of ARSP and the former Foreign Secretary, stressed on the importance of strengthening relations with PIO'sand NRI'saround the world.
Shri Baleshwar Agarwal, secretary general of ARSP, who can aptly be described as the soul of PIO movement in India, highlighted the achievements of the ARSP over the past three decades. Expressing disappointment at the way the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) has become a ?government affair? he said NGOs should also be involved in the PBD activities.