Intro: The 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas marking 100th year of homecoming of Mahatma Gandhi has presented India as a land of opportunities to all Bharatvanshis.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, called upon the Indian diaspora across the world to unite as a positive global force in the cause of humanity. In his inaugural address at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, the Prime Minister recalled that exactly 100 years ago, a Non Resident Indian – Gandhi – had returned to India to serve the people. The Prime Minister also exhorted the Indian diaspora to contribute to India’s success in any way possible, including knowledge, expertise or skills. The Prime Minister mentioned in particular, the Namaami Gange project to clean the River Ganga, and make it a source of economic empowerment for 40 per cent of India’s population.
The three day (7-9 January, 2015) mega-event organised at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, first time outside Delhi, was represented by Indians from more than 180 countries. They participated in many plenary sessions, seminars and exhibitions.
The Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (YPBD) was a special feature which was inaugurated by the External Affairs Minister Ms. Sushama Swaraj. While speaking on the occasion she said, “The Indian youth diaspora can become ambassadors of the ‘new’ India as “you have retained a bit of India in your heart and each one of you have a bit of ‘Bharat’ in you.” She also urged youth diaspora to connect, celebrate and contribute to the making of Shreshth Bharat. In the plenary session 3 on Gandhian Thought in Context of the 21st Century: A Youth Perspective–Union Minister Gen VK Singh said, “A big responsibility rests on the youth in nation building and India is on a firm footing as it enjoys a demographic dividend.”
On second day, main attraction was presentations by Union Minsters on new socio-economic initiatives of the government threw open huge investment opportunities. They apprised the participants about the government’s comprehensive socio-economic development programme for the country, focussing on aspects such as cleanliness, skill development and building of smart cities. Through these endeavours the government aims to transform India by getting the basics right. These programmes throw open huge investment opportunities and space for fresh ideas and experience sharing. Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Sushri Uma Bharti, Rajiv Pratap Rudi and Dr Mahesh Sharma urged members of the diaspora to come forward and take part in various programmes initiated by the government.
On third day, chief ministers of various states beckoned overseas Indians to cash in on investment opportunities in their respective states. Presiding over the session, Shri Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, said that the real Bharat was the villages of India and therefore it was important to develop villages to ensure a balanced and an inclusive growth. As many as nine CMs interacted with Indian diaspora in these sessions.
Many social and industry leaders also made their presence in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations. Besides these various parallel and interactive sessions like ‘Role of Indian Diaspora Organisation’ provided the opportunity to identify issues that are of main concern for the NRI community and to prepare action plan for collective exchanges on the same. Larger participation of youth across the globe was outstanding feature of this Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.