Indore : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 09 described the Indian diaspora as Rashtradoots, that is, ambassadors, and maintained that India’s ‘skill capital’ can play a vital role in ensuring global growth and development.
“Today, India is being looked at with hope and curiosity. India’s voice is being heard on the global stage, “he said in his inaugural address to the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention being hosted at Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
Amid frequent thundering applause from a large number of NRIs and People of Indian Origin (PIO), including diplomatic members and visiting heads of nations and foreign ministers, the Prime Minister said, “Our youths have the skill and also values. They are also hard-working. This is India’s ‘skill capital’, and it can become the engine of global growth and development”.
He said, “India not only has the capability of becoming a knowledge center but also a skilled capital”.
“I call all Indian diasporas Rashtradoots, brand ambassadors of India. Your role as India’s brand ambassador is diverse. You are a brand ambassador of ‘Make in India’, Yoga, Handicraft industry and at the same time for India’s millets,” PM said.
The Prime Minister remarked that the Pravasi Bhartiya have another vital role in addressing the world’s desire to know more about India. He said that the world was watching India keenly with great curiosity and highlighted the extraordinary achievements of the nation in recent years.
PM gave the example of the ‘Make in India’ vaccine and the record inoculation figures of more than 220 crore free doses to Indians. He also mentioned India’s emergence in the global economy during the current period of instability and becoming the 5th largest economy.
The Prime Minister also gave examples of the rising startup ecosystem and Made in India in the electronics manufacturing sector. He highlighted Tejas fighter planes, aircraft carriers INS Vikrant and nuclear submarine Arihant.
It is only natural for people to be curious about India. The Prime Minister also mentioned India’s cashless economy and fintech and said that 40 per cent of the world’s real-time digital transactions are being done in India.
“India’s strength will grow further in the days to come. And so will the curiosity about India. And that is why the responsibility of the Indians living overseas also grows manifold. The more you know about India the more you will be able to tell others with facts,” Modi said.
Speaking about space technology, the Prime Minister said that India is creating multiple records of launching hundreds of satellites simultaneously.
He highlighted India’s software and digital technology industry and said its capability only increases with time.
He urged everyone present on occasion to enrich their knowledge not just about India’s culture and tradition but also about the nation’s progress.
PM Modi said the ensuing G-20 Presidency and Summit in India is not only a diplomatic event. “But for us this is a platform to promote Jan-Bhagidari (people’s participation),” the Prime Minister said. “India is looking at the G20 Summit as a great opportunity. For us this is an opportunity to tell the world about India,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed the President of Guyana, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the Chief Guest of this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention. “The large Indian diaspora in Guyana can act as enduring links of friendship between our countries,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesman Arindam Bagchi said.
Guyana president Irfaan Ali said on occasion, “It’s a significant day in the history of India. On January 09, 1950, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa. On this day, 107 years ago the once physically frail-looking but morally firm man returned and intensified the struggle for India’s independence”. He lauded India’s achievements and its international support during the Covid19 crisis.
“India used the fruits of its independence to assist other developing countries. Prime Minister Modi, we owe you a debt of gratitude. When the world locked its borders and globalisation failed, you showed that globalisation can still succeed and there’s still love when the hardest of times hit us,” the visiting dignitary said.
“When the world couldn’t find vaccines, and we faced the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic, you showed the world what real love and hope is,” Guyana’s President said, adding it was then during such challenging times that India shared vaccines with the rest of the world.
Surinamese President Chan Santokhi pitched to develop a “diaspora fund” to help the community showcase its capabilities and skills.
PM Modi also said that the event is taking place on the land of Madhya Pradesh which is known as the heart of India and famous for the holy waters of Narmada, the greenery, the tribal culture and spirituality.
He referred to the recently dedicated Maha Kaal Maha Lok and hoped that dignitaries and delegates would be able to visit the sacred place.
Talking about the host city, Indore, the Prime Minister said Indore is a city as well as a phase, “It is a phase that walks ahead of time while preserving its heritage.”, He also mentioned the culinary fame of Indore and its achievement in the Swachata movement.
Praising Madhya Pradesh, he said the water of Maa Narmada, the forest, and tribal tradition made the visitors’ journey unforgettable and unique. The grand Mahakal Lok has also expanded in Ujjain, he said and urged NRIs to go to Baba Mahakal Mandir and seek blessings.
He emphasised India’s age-old commitment towards – ‘Swadesho Bhuvana-Trayam’, which is taken from the much-cherished principle — “Baandhavaah Shiva-Bhaktaash- Ka Swadesho Bhuvana Trayam. This also means, “My Friends are the devotees of God Shiva, and my Country is all the Three Worlds”.
The Prime Minister remarked that the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas are special in numerous ways, as India completed only 75 years of its independence recently.
In a message earlier, PM Modi said the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas mega event is an excellent opportunity to deepen the connection with the Indian diaspora, which has distinguished itself globally.
The three-day Pravasi Bhartiya Divas convention began in Indore on January 08. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Pravasis: Reliable Partners in India’s Progress in the Age of Amrit”.
The convention also has a particular highlight in the form of the first digital exhibition focused on the theme “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – Contribution of NRIs in Indian Freedom Struggle”.
Important sessions have been organised under various themes. The theme of one session on January 09 is the ‘Role of NRIs in boosting the Indian Healthcare Eco-system in the Age of Amrit Kaal. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya will preside over this session.
The theme of another session is – ‘Taking advantage of India’s soft power – goodwill through crafts, cuisine, and creativity’. It will be presided over by Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi.