Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

The High Commission of India celebrated the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) – Indian Diaspora Day – at its cultural centre, Swamy Vivekanand Cultural Centre in Georgetown, Guyana, on January 9, 2020.

The key part of the event was the interaction of Dr.. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India with the Indian Diaspora across the Globe from the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi through a live video conference.  The live streaming of the interaction with the Indian Diaspora was arranged from 8.30 am in Georgetown.

During the video interaction, the Hon Minister of External Affairs directly addressed the Indian Diaspora and interacted with the Indian community in 8 selected cities, i.e. Perth, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Doha, Mauritius, London, Paramaribo and New York.  It was followed by a live Questions and Answers Session when Dr. Jaishankar responded to questions from the Diaspora members on important Diaspora issues.

The PBD-2020 in Guyana was attended by 150 invitees, including Indian Diaspora members, Indian nationals and their families, Indian students, etc.  During the event, the High Commissioner of India, H.E. Dr. K.J. Srinivasa, addressed the gathering and spoke about the significance of marking the PBD. The High Commissioner also reiterated and encouraged the Indian community in Guyana to partner with the High Commission in furthering the existing friendly bilateral relations and cooperation between the Governments and people of India and Guyana.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on January 9 to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa, led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.  PBD is an important occasion for India to connect more closely with the Diaspora and engage them in the ongoing transformation in India while also being responsive to their aspirations and concerns.

PBD conventions are being held since 2003 to connect India to its vast overseas Diaspora of over 30 million across the world and bring their knowledge, expertise and skills on a common platform. These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities. These conventions are also very useful in networking among the overseas Indian community residing in various parts of the world and enable them to share their experiences in various fields. During the event, individuals of exceptional merit are honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to appreciate their role in India’s growth. The event also provides a forum for discussing key issues concerning the Indian Diaspora.

The Government of India also organizes Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (RPBD) to allow participation of the Indian diaspora who are unable to attend annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in India. So far, eight Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas have been held at New York, Singapore, The Hague, Durban, Toronto, Mauritius, Sydney and Los Angeles. These have elicited enthusiastic support from the Indian Diaspora and the local Government and have been highly successful.

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