Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday, said India has the opportunity to become not only the knowledge centre but also the world’s skill capital that could become the engine of global growth.
Modi was inaugurating the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention in Indore. He released a commemorative postal stamp ‘Surakshit Jaayen, Prashikshit Jaayen’ and also inaugurated the first-ever digital PBD Exhibition on the theme ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – Contribution of Diaspora in Indian Freedom Struggle’.
The PBD is the flagship event of the Government of India that provides an important platform to engage and connect with overseas Indians and enable the diaspora to interact with each other. The theme of this PBD Convention is ‘Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal’. Over 3,500 diaspora members from nearly 70 different countries have registered for the convention.
Addressing a gathering, the PM stated that he considered the Indian diaspora as ambassadors of the country as they echo the voice of a powerful and capable India when the world evaluated their contributions. “You are the Rashtradoots (national ambassadors) of India’s heritage, of Make in India, of Yoga and Ayurveda, of India’s cottage industries and handicrafts,” he told the participants.
Noting that the PBD was taking place in all its glory after a gap of four years, he said the PBD this year was special in numerous ways as India completed 75 years of its independence only recently. He also informed that the first-ever digital PBD Exhibition on the theme ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ has also been organised.
Mentioning the Indian philosophy of treating the entire world as one’s own country and considering humanity as brothers and sisters, the PM said; ”our ancestors laid the foundations of India’s cultural expansion.”
Speaking about the world of today, he highlighted that Indians have traversed all parts of the globe while living among different cultures and traditions and yet found ways to unlock the gates of prosperity through business partnerships.
”When we look at crores of Pravasi Bhartiya on the global map, myriad images emerge simultaneously which paint the picture of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and the feeling of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat comes to the fore when two Pravasi Bhartiya meet on any foreign land,” he added.
The PM said; “The feeling of pride in being the mother of democracy increases manifold when Pravasis are talked about as the most democratic, peaceful and disciplined citizens in different parts of the world.”
He said the Pravasi Bhartiya has another important role to play in addressing the world’s desire to know more about India. He said the world was watching India keenly with great curiosity and highlighted the extraordinary achievements of the nation in recent years.
The PM gave the example of the ”Make in India” vaccine and the record inoculation figures of more than 220 crore free doses to Indians. He also mentioned India’s emergence in the global economy during the current period of instability and becoming the fifth-largest economy in the world.
Modi also gave examples of the rising startup ecosystem and ”Make in India” in the electronics manufacturing sector. He highlighted Tejas fighter planes, aircraft carriers INS Vikrant and nuclear submarine Arihant and said that it was only natural for the people of the world to be curious about India.
He urged everyone present on the occasion to enrich their knowledge not just about India’s culture and tradition but also about the nation’s progress.
The PM highlighted that India was taking over the G-20 Presidency this year and the responsibility came with a great opportunity to make the world aware of the country’s past experiences to attain a sustainable future and learn from these experiences.
He suggested that there should be a sustained effort to document the lives, the struggle and the contributions of Pravasi Bharatiyas for their respective countries through universities and research institutions. Each and every Bharatvanshi carried the entire India with him or her. “In the last 8 years, India has tried to strengthen its diaspora. It is India’s commitment today that wherever you are, the country is for your interests and expectations”, he said.