NEW DELHI – The Annual Indian Diaspora meet, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) to be held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat for three days starting tomorrow will mark the 100th year anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa. The 13th PBD is themed “The Innovations of India, Innovating.”
Gandhi, who was the pre-eminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India, was born and raised in Gujarat and is seen as the “Sarva Sreshta Pravasi Bharatiya” or foremost Indian Diaspora member.
Malaysia’s 150-member delegation to the annual meet is lead by Malaysia’s Special Envoy (Infrastructure) to India and South Asia, Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu.
The former minister is scheduled to speak at a session entitled: “Session with Achievers of Indian Disapora,” on Thursday.
India has the world’s second largest Diasporas amounting to more then 25 million people spread over six continents and the PBD has served as an important platform for them to engage.
The PBD has usually been held on Jan 9 since 2003 to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the development of India to coincide with the home coming of Gandhi in 1915.
This year, the organisers are expecting about 3,000 participants. The chief guest for the 13th PBD is Guyana President Donald Ramotar, where people of Indian origin form 43 per cent of the population.
India’s Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj in a recent media briefing on the event had said the PBD in 2015 would be a grand event with focus given on connecting the children of Diaspora through a Youth’s PBD on day one.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will inaugurate the PBD on January 8, while the Vice President, Hamid Ansari is scheduled to close it on Jan 9. – By M. Saraswathi BERNAMA