January 9, 2023
NEW DELHI – Hailing the Indian community living abroad, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said India has the largest and most talented diaspora in the world.
In his inaugural address at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Indore, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said: “What is perhaps unique about us is the intensity of the bonding between the community abroad and the motherland. And that is a two-way street which is promoted particularly by activities like the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas.”
The three-day 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention is being held in Indore under the theme of ‘Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal.’ The 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention is being organised in partnership with Madhya Pradesh government. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention is the flagship event of the Government of India.
It provides an important platform to engage and connect with the overseas Indians and to enable the diaspora to interact with each other. The first event of the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention was the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
Jaishankar said that this relationship between the Indian community living abroad and the motherland was very much in evidence amidst the challenges of the Covid pandemic.
“On its part, the Government of India undertook the Vande Bharat Mission and the Vaccine Maitri initiative, which were focused significantly on our diaspora-centered partners. We recognize the tremendous response that we got from the PIO-NRI community during the most difficult moments of our own Covid experience. So, as we meet today, I can truly say that our bonds have become even stronger as a result of all the trials and tribulations that we went through during the Covid period,” said External Affairs Minister Jaishankar.
He said the identity of a diaspora is very much derived from how closely it is connected to its roots.
“Here too, our efforts have been to encourage easier exposure to Indian culture and traditions abroad. Many of our Embassies, in fact I think most of them today offer yoga, dance and music classes. We ask them also to support and facilitate community functions and collective activities,” said he.
“Whether it is start-ups or sports, whether it is technology usage or tourism, the energies of young India are increasingly visible. This is what has led us to define the theme for this year’s Youth PBD,” he added. He said the younger generations are also very much in the forefront of connecting India to the world.
“They do so not only through their activities at home but by studying, working and traveling abroad. Our endeavour is, therefore, to maximize support for them and to ensure that they realize the benefits and achievements that are due to them. We strive to create a better global workplace, a more secure traveling experience and a non-discriminatory treatment abroad,” he said.
“Within the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged us all to focus on the Amrit Kaal – the period leading up to a century of independence. It is important that the Indian community abroad also does the same. They would be justified in asking themselves how they can make a difference to India’s future,” he said.
“In the past, the answers may have been more in the realm of resources and opportunities. Today, it is in the era of a knowledge economy, it is much more in the world of technology, of ideas and of innovation,” added Jaishankar.