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NRIs, PIO's kids in Delhi to learn about India

The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Vajpayee on January 9. The event has already received confirmation from 1,000 delegates from 57 countries.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2004 22:17 IST

With eight youngsters in the city from Australia, Malaysia, Mauritius, South Africa and other countries, New Delhi seems all set for the second jamboree of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held between January 9-11, 2003. Children of People of Indian Origin (PIO) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), they are here to attend a three-week internship to participate in the mega event.

Brimming with enthusiasm, Veepre Kureeman, a student of University of Mauritius is amazed with the similarity his adopted country has with India. Speaking a chaste Hindi with a heavy intoned voice, he wonders, "People in Delhi don't speak good Hindi. I feel our Hindi in Mauritius is more real and pure than it's spoken here", he says proudly.

Veepre, whose grand parents migrated from Bhojpur, Bihar to Mauritius is more than happy to be in India. But he thinks Indians have become more anglicised. "We view India as our Bharat Mata, but the concept doesn't simply exist here", he says.

Still adjusting herself to the cold of the city, Proshana Mariappan, a student of Engineering in Malaysia whose great grand parents migrated from Chennai is all enthused to meet President APJ Abdul Kalam. "I have heard and read so much about him", she says.

Khsantini Devi, another student from Malaysia sporting a salwar, kameez and a bindi on her forehead gives a look of any other Indian girls. She feels learning Hindi will help her remain in touch with her root, India. It would also get her bargain from the shopkeepers in Delhi. "I had a tough time shopping at Sarojini Nagar Market, the shopkeepers could easily make out we are not from India", she says.

The youngest of the lot, 18-year-old Pallavi Susarla from Australia wants to experience things that are Indian, from myriad cuisines to historical places. Another youngster, Ashvinee Fakoo, a fourth generation offspring of Indian expatriate in Mauritius is thrilled about her Indian visit. Doing her graduation in Hindi, she is a die-hard fan of Shahrukh Khan, like others in the group.

But there are also like Rashay Magan from South Africa who wants to have a ring-view of India and the Indian market. "I want to feel like an Indian as long as I am here", he says.

The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 9 has already, received confirmation from about 1,000 delegates from 57 countries.

First Published: Jan 03, 2004 00:00 IST