Ten prominent members of the Indian diaspora from around the world, including Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter, were honoured in India on Thursday with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) – India’s highest honour conferred on overseas Indians.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee delivered the awards at the 12th edition of the annual non-resident Indian convention, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), in New Delhi.
Gandhi’s granddaughter, Ela Gandhi, who is based in South Africa, was honoured for her contributions in the field of public services, enhancing India’s image and promoting ties between India and South Africa.
Other awards went to Bahrain-based businessman Kurian Verghese, Toronto, Canada-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Vasdev Chanchlani and France-based educationist Bikas Chandra Sanyal.
The Ramakrishna Mission’s Fiji unit was also honoured for its community service and philanthropic activities and enhancing India’s prestige abroad.
According to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, the annual awards ceremony started in 2003 and delivers the honour to Non-Resident-Indians, persons of Indian origin, or organizations established and run by NRIs who have made significant contributions to a better understanding of India abroad, supporting India’s causes and concerns, building closer links between India.
The overseas community and their country of residence, social and humanitarian causes in India or abroad, welfare of the local Indian community, philanthropic and charitable work, eminence in one’s field or outstanding work, which has enhanced India’s prestige in the country of residence, or eminence in skills which has enhanced India’s prestige in that country (for non-professional workers).