With a record participation since its inception, the 14th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas got off the ground on Saturday amid deliberations on several issues concerning the Indian diaspora across the globe.
The stage was set for the three-day event by the Surinamese Vice-President, 36-year-old Michael Ashwin Adhin, who sought India to be a big player on the global platform while also seeking technology know-how from India for the development of his country that received Indian indentured labour between 1873 and 1916.
The number of delegates that has now crossed 7,100 has been “unprecedented” since the inception of the event in 2003 to provide a platform for engagement between the diaspora and the government, said Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dnyaneshwar Mulay, and added that they were still receiving requests from delegates for registration.
“It is also unprecedented to have about 1,700 overseas participants and about 300 to 500 NRIs living in India, participating,” he added.
While concerns were raised on not having separate session to address grievances of those residing in Gulf countries, Mr. Mulay clarified that all the issues pertaining to those living abroad were being addressed. As many as seven Indian ambassadors to different countries were here to interact with the diaspora, he added.
After the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas — the first day of the event, the diaspora representing 72 countries is looking forward for Sunday’s sessions on grievances and issues that have been deliberated over the past 10 months. “The bread and butter issues, including consular services and problems of people in Gulf countries, will be discussed. Recommendations made here will go into policy making. This is an outcome-oriented approach that is also policy oriented,” said Mr. Mulay.