'Indian diaspora a major eco-social force'
President Pratibha Patil on Monday said the 25-million strong Indian diaspora was emerging as a major economic and social force prompting initiatives to woo them to help the country of their origin.
Patil, who is currently on a 13-day visit to Brazil, Mexico and Chile, also told the growing Indian diaspora in this country to ensure that their motherland as well as their adopted country had a pride of place in their "lives and hearts".
"It is important that you provide a place in your lives and hearts to both the country of your origin as well as the country of adoption," Patil said in her first public interaction at a reception hosted in her honour in the Brazilian capital.
Patil said the Indian government has begun work on establishing a "Diaspora Knowledge Network" - an electronic platform to facilitate transformation of ideas into community action in India.
An "India Development Foundation" is also on the anvil which would allow you to contribute to social development causes in India, she added..
Also, an Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre, which can be the window for the Indian diaspora to invest in and benefit from India has already been established, the meeting was told.
"Most of you have not only been able to assimilate yourselves in the Brazilian way of life but are also maintaining close cultural and economic connection with India," the President said.
Patil also touched on the growing India-Brazil ties describing the two countries as "large democracies and major countries in their respective regions."