4,000 delagates from 44 countries attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2015
Contribution of Indian diaspora Minister for External and Overseas Indian Affairs, Ms Sushma Swaraj in her welcome address said the 25 million strong Indian diaspora has become a unique force in the world culture. She said, the government is keen to work closely with the Indian diaspora and welcomed the investors and professionals to partner with India. “I promise, it will be a mutually rewarding experience”, she added. PM's bilateral meetings on the sidelines of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met the President of Guyana Donald R Ramotar, on the sidelines of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Gandhinagar. The Prime Minister recalled his interaction with South American leaders on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in 2014, and said India would set up its first IT Centre of Excellence on the South American continent, in Guyana. India has approved a new Line of Credit of USD 50 million for the East Bank Demerara -East Coast Road Link Project. India has also agreed to concessional credit to supply a passenger ferry to help Guyana overcome transportation problems in the northern region. During his meeting with the Vice Prime Minister of Mauritius, Showkatally Soodhun, the Prime Minister congratulated the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth on his recent election victory and renewed an invitation to him to visit India. Sir Anerood Jugnauth has also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Mauritius. Both sides expressed keenness to enhance cooperation in infrastructure projects and matters related to ocean economy. During his meeting with Mrs. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Foreign Minister of South Africa, recalled that today was the Founding Day of the African National Congress. He also recalled the common heritage of the two countries, including struggle against colonial rule. Both sides are keen to deepen cooperation in sectors such as infrastructure and defence manufacturing; and to strengthen partnerships in multilateral fora. Recalling India’s close ties with nations having significant population of people of Indian origin, Ms. Sushma Swaraj said , Mauritius calls itself a ‘chhota Bharat’ and celebrates its national day on March 8, the day when Mahatma Gandhi began his historic Dandi March. The Minister informed that the government is setting up a monument of arrival of indentured labour in Guyana. She also mentioned about India’s close bilateral relations with South Africa, the other ‘karm-bhoomi’ of Gandhiji, which is also the partner country at the Vibrant Gujarat summit. Ms. Swaraj said her Ministry’s doors are open to all for any assistance. Chief Guest Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana and Guest of Honour, Ms. Maite Nkona Mashabane, South African Minister for International Affairs Relations and Cooperation also spoke on the occasion and stressed upon close bilateral ties their countries shared with India. President of Guyana recalled the influence the Indian Independence Movement had in shaping political and economic destinies of other colonial countries. Referring to India’s growing economic clout, Mr. Ramotar urged India to provide leadership to other developing countries, who have no voice, to realize their potential. Stressing upon the need for reforming the UN system, Mr Ramotar said “the global struggle for equality continues”. Ms.Mashabane claimed Mahatma Gandhi to be the national hero of South Africa, as much he is of India. She expressed South Africa’s keenness to deepen ties with India in the fields of Information and Communication Technology, health care and clean energy. Chief Minister Terming the celebrations of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas as a very special occasion for Gujarat, Chief Minister Mrs. Anandiben Patel said, the centenary of returning of Mahatma Gandhiji’s to India from South Africa has generated feelings of proud for the motherland. The leadership of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has elated every citizen to feel proud to be an Indian. The Chief Minister thanked the Indian diasporas for achieving new heights of success in their respective fields and yet maintaining touch with the motherland. She also urged young NRIs to become ambassador of Indian culture and spread the messages of Indian ethnicity across the globe. Mrs. Patel described the cooperation offered by the NRI families in fulfilling the Prime Minister’s nation-wide Swachhta Abhiyaan, which is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, as the prideful incident.Gandhinagar: The Prime Minister of India inaugurated the ‘Dandi Kutir’ museum located opposite the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. The three storey exhibition, housed in a dome shaped structure, traces the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi through various faces – as barrister, his struggles in South Africa, return to India and successfully leading the freedom struggle. Depiction of Gandhiji breaking the salt law after the Dandi March is a major draw. Key concepts of Gandhian thoughts like Satyagraha, non-violence, self reliance, gram swaraj are elaborately explained through a number of exhibits. There is also an audio-visual presentation of milestone incidents of the Indian Independence Movement. The contents of the museum are expressed through a combination of traditional and contemporary media. Nearly 4,000 delagates from 44 countries are attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2015 in Gandhinagar. A mega exhibition spread over 1.1 million sq ft has also been organized as part of the programme.