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Kalam exhorts diasporas to help make India 'developed'

President A P J Abdul Kalam on Sunday asked the NRIs and PIOs to share their knowledge to help India become a developed nation.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2004 20:24 IST

President APJ Abdul Kalam on Sunday asked the non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) to share their knowledge to help India become a developed nation, lift all its people above the poverty line and make them literate by 2020.

"You should perform the best for the country you live in. .... We don't need anything from you, but your knowledge. Make your family in India happy and use your knowledge and experience to make India developed," Kalam told a large gathering of NRIs and PIOs at the Moghul Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan where he hosted high-tea for them.

Kalam, as usual, departed from protocol and mingled freely with the guests, who came here to attend the Second Pravasi Bharatiya Conference. He shook hands with them and freely gave autographs to many of them who jostled to get close to him.

As the microphones on the podium failed, the President took a cordless mike, descended from the dais and stood in the open surrounded by the guests. He also took a few questions after his speech.

Among those present were former President K R Narayanan, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Minister of State for External Affairs Digvijay Singh, former Prime Minister I K Gujral and eminent personality Karan Singh. The prominent guests included Mauritian Deputy Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, Lord Meghnad Desai and Jean Pierre Harrison, husband of late astronaut Kalpana Chawla..

First Published: Jan 11, 2004 18:21 IST