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Events of Ambassador

Speech delivered on the celebration of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas and Gujarat Day on 13 January 2018

  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has been celebrated since 2003-devoting one day of the year to our overseas Indians.
  • While deciding to choose the appropriate day, GOI settled on 9th January - the day Mahatma Gandhi, who was our greatest expatriate, the most prominent migrant, returned to India from South Africa.
  • In this year’s PBD, only Parliamentarians and Mayors of Indian origin have been invited. 141 parliamentarians including 17 Mayors from 28 countries attended the Conference.
  • The themes of the sessions were, "PIO Parliamentarians – Journey of Struggle to Parliament” and "Resurgent India- Role of PIO Parliamentarians.”
  • Hon’ble Prime Minister of India while addressing the PIO Parliamentarians said that “there is a feeling of pride that is generated when there is news about how Indians are influencing geo-politics wherever they live and how they are affecting policies of the countries they reside in”.
  • Prime Minister further said that Pravasi Bharatiyas are the partners in growth, catalysts for the country’s development and are the ones who can take India to greater heights on the global platform.
  • Addressing the Indian Diaspora at the ASEAN PBD in Singapore, External Affairs Minister Madam Sushma Swaraj said that Indian Diaspora provides a platform for stronger ties with ASEAN nations.
  • Talking of the struggles our PIOs have gone through, Hon’ble External Affairs Minister said “during those times Mahatma Gandhi visited Mauritius and there he had asked Seewoosagur RamgoolamJi if you wish to live in this country with self-respect, then adopt two things, teach your children (Educate) and raise political consciousness in them, start taking part in the politics. And they adhered to those two core principles advised by Gandhi Ji.
  • Elders of the community, my dear friends, why I am saying all these is to convey to you the high importance Government of India accords to you all. We are proud of the history of how our people come to this country, many a times going through  a lot of hardship and how you rose not only  to establish yourselves as a community but contribute immensely to the progress and development of the country you reside in. You have also played the role of providing a platform for strengthening ties with India.
  • The members of the community, for all practical purposes, are the actual ambassadors of India. The impression that you make to the majority community and to the Government of Zimbabwe through your contribution to the prosperity and development of the country and how you can facilitate, influence and direct the decision of the leadership of the country to strengthen ties with India cannot be replaced by any Ambassador who is sent for just 3 years to represent the interests of India. Today, India is reaping huge political and economic dividend because of this advantage and I urge you all to not only continue but intensify playing this vital role.
  • Although we have named it celebration of Gujarat Day because majority of the community has origin from the State of Gujarat, the celebration is for all including expat community (Mahatma Gandhi was an expatriate).
  • When I think of Indian Diaspora and their role, the image of huge banyan tree always comes to my mind.
  • I would also want to commend the sense of history and pride of the community in terms of preserving the valuable materials of your history in this country. We have seen the photo exhibition that was held at the Westridge School last year. Encouraged by that, the Embassy and both the communities (Hindus and Muslim) have initiated the effort of compiling more comprehensive materials to document the history of the arrival of Indians in Zimbabwe.  We appeal all to support this project so that, may be, by this time next year; we have this task completed in the form of book.
  • In response to and in recognition of your contribution in strengthening the relationship between India, the country of your origin and Zimbabwe, the country of your adoption, India, as a fast emerging world economic power, is reaching out to you like never before.  (more than 30 million Indian Diaspora including about 16 million of PIO)
  • PIO card is being converted to lifetime OCI card (limited citizenship). Last date for such conversion was December last 2017. There is a Know India programme (KIP) affording the youth of the community to familiarize themselves with modern India. PB Bhavan facilities for staying during visits to Delhi is open for the community at nominal rates. Embassy’s door is open for you not only during the working hours in office, but 24*7 including the officials of the embassy in person and their residences. I would like to reiterate that an important part of our duty/mandate is to help you and to serve you.
  • Now, i look forward to listening to the rich wisdom of our two main speakers, Ambassador Prof. Hasu Patel and Yusuf Ali Adam.


Jai Hind

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