Diaspora is India’s identity abroad: President at NRI meet

The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards, at the closing session of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2019, in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on January 23, 2019. The Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Pravind Jugnauth, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Ram Naik, the Union Minister for External Affairs, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries are also seen.

The President  Ram Nath Kovind said the Indian diaspora’s success and hard work have set an example. They are the face of India and its identity abroad.

Addressing the closing session of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention and presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards in Varanasi, last evening, he said we are proud of them and their achievements. But what really makes their contributions stand out are the values that they espouse and live for. These are values that intrinsically remain Indian.

The President said that the Indian diaspora is among the largest in the world and its history is as rich and diverse as the diaspora itself. In the past, our ancestors travelled to Southeast Asia as merchants and as monks.

Much later, he said that many lived and prospered as traders and entrepreneurs along the Silk Route. And more than a century ago, under the indenture system, we witnessed millions of our people crossing the seven seas.

The world has moved a long way since for our diaspora. They are commanding global heights today, while embracing their cultural ethos and diversity. And while they do so, they must also preserve and strengthen their unity as a community, he added.

The President said that India today is a land of a billion ideas. India today is a land of a billion opportunities. He invited the Indian diaspora to become a part of India’s growth story.

He said that we count on the diaspora’s convening strength to encourage people to visit India, as knowledge-providers and as tourists. We want to change the brain-drain of yesterday to the brain-gain of today. He called upon the diaspora to contribute to and partner in the New India.

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