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Indians share concerns on Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

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Members of the Indian community in Seychelles during the interactive session on Saturday

Indians living in Seychelles shared their expectations and concerns about how they could stay connected with their ancestral motherland and this was during an interactive session on Saturday night.

The special social event, which was attended by some 80 people, took place at the Indian high commission’s Vivekananda Yoga Hall to mark the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Indian Diaspora Day).

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated in India on January 9 each year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India.

The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay on January 9, 1915. In fact last year was the 100th 2indiananniversary of Ghandi’s return to his motherland.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was established in 2003, and a celebratory event is held from January 7-9 each year in an Indian city, a forum for issues concerning the Indian diaspora is organised and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards are given.

The decision to celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was taken in accordance with recommendations of the high level committee on the Indian diaspora set up by the government of India under the chairmanship of L. M. Singhvi. The then Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Bajpayee, after receiving the report of the committee at a public function at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on January 8, 2002, announced the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on January 9 that same year.

Present at Saturday night’s session chaired by Indian high commissioner Sanjay Panda were two recipients of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Overseas Indian Honour) awards – Dr V. Ramadoss (2006) and Supreme Court judge Duraikannu Karunakaran (2015). They both shared their feelings on winning the award.

The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman is an award constituted by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, government of India, in conjunction with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non-Resident Indian Day), to honour exceptional and meritorious contribution in their chosen field/profession. The award is given by the President of India.

Prominent local businessmen of Indian origin – Vijay Patel (managing director of Vijay Construction), Pravin Darad (managing director of Allied Builders) and Ramasimham Ramani (chartered accountant) – as well as other guests took turns to say what Indians living abroad expect from motherland India and what they can do to help.

High commissioner Panda, who had called for more prominent investment of the diaspora to contribute in building another India, told Seychelles NATION this is the first time Seychelles has been chosen to organise the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas as it is deemed by the Ministry of External Affairs of India that the country hosts a sizeable number of people of Indian origin.

“This is a social event organised to get the active engagement of the Indian diaspora. They are helping to forge the bilateral relationships between India and the country they live in. We ambassadors come and go, but they are the permanent ambassadors of India in Seychelles and they have a big role to play,” said Mr Panda.

He added that through this event, the “high commission has understood the diaspora’s expectations from India” and noted that “all the comments and concerns will be included in a report to be sent to the Ministry of External Affairs of India”.

Those present on Saturday listened to a recorded video message from the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Source : Seychelles NATION

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