Prime Minister Narendra Modi will officially inaugurate the 13th edition of the annual diaspora day in the presence of over 3,000 non-resident Indians (NRI) and Persons of Indian origin (PIOs) in Gandhinagar on Thursday.
On Wednesday, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the youth Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD). This year, the PBD is being held in Gujarat to mark the centenary year of Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival of from South Africa to India in 1915.
Addressing the gathering, she appealed them to become the ambassadors of a modern India, which is taking shape following many new initiatives by Modi.
“Today, an estimated 25 million PIOs and NRIs live and work outside India. The PBD is essentially a platform to connect the Indian diaspora with the motherland and involve it in the development and advancement of India,” Swaraj said.
Besides Swaraj, union ministers Harsh Vardhan and VK Singh also addressed the delegates.
The chief guest of the 13th PBD would be Guyana President Donald Ramotar, who will also be presented with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians and PIOs.
Special invitee to the event is South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
Priti Patel, MP and exchequer secretary to the treasury in United Kingdom and Rashmi Das, chairperson of World Organisation of Students and Youth, were also present.
Meanwhile, the Congress called for a Gujarat bandh on January 10 to protest against the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, which begins from January 11.