Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Celebrated Around the World
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was observed around the globe with conferences and gatherings to mark the contributions of the Indian diaspora.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, also known as Indian Diaspora Day, was observed around the world with conferences and gatherings to mark the contributions of overseas Indians. It is celebrated on Jan. 9 as it was on this day that Mahatma Gandhi came back from South Africa in 1915.
India hosted the first ever conference of PIO Parliamentarians in New Delhi to mark the occasion this year. The event, attended by 124 parliamentarians and 17 mayors of Indian origin from 23 countries, included many conferences, including discussions on entering the legislature of the adopted country.
Singapore celebrated the event over the weekend, with leaders from ASEAN countries making a visit to commemorate 25 years of dialogue between Indian and ASEAN.
In New York, the event hosted by the Federation of India Associations NY, NJ & CT (FIA), began with a ceremonial group lamp lighting, and Odissi dance performances, all with record cold temperatures outside, News India website reported. While Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty could not attend the event, he was represented by K Devadasan Nair, the Consul for Community Affairs. Nair encouraged the youth to engage in such events and connect with their roots, to “change from ‘brain drain’ to ‘brain gain’.” The date of India Day Parade, the largest parade held outside of India, was also announced as Aug. 19, 2018.
Further east in the United Arab Emirates, Consul General Vipul announced initiatives that the Indian missions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will take for more engagement with the community, Khaleej Times reported. One of the initiatives under consideration is constitution of committees to address specific issues related to labor, seafarers, education and culture.
The Consul General also said that they would host an open house every last Friday of the month for senior officials to look into people’s problems — specifically laborers, and blue collar workers. He announced that they would also keep one particular day to engage with students in the UAE, mostly in the month of February. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Dubai also included the screening of a short film that portrayed the contribution and achievements of Indians overseas. Prime Narendra Modi’s speech at the PIO Parliamentarian Conference in New Delhi was also shown to the delegates.
At Suva in Fiji, the celebrations were attended by Veena Bhatnagar, the Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, who was chief guest. Bhatnagar talked about how Fiji was a great example of a nation where Indian laborers helped in developing the sugar industry that revolutionized Fijian economy. “We enjoy the constitutional identity of being Fijians, we have our ancestors from India a lot to thank for, a choice they made in shaping our identity through their struggles, making our identity unique and very close to our hearts,” she said, the Fiji Times reported.
The Indian Embassy in Oman also held celebrations, where members of the diaspora were invited to present suggestions and feedback, which will be forwarded to the Indian government. More than 300 people were invited for the event, Indian Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey said, according to the Times of Oman.
In the Netherlands, the National Indian Diaspora Council got together various Indian organizations to celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Hague, ANI reported. Over 250 members were present at the event, which was inaugurated by Indian Ambassador Venu Rajamony.