Indian Diaspora Is Our Country’s Strength: Prime Minister

This post was originally published on 3 October 2016 and the content may be outdated.

Brain drain can be converted into “brain gain” if the nation started looking at the 27-million-strong Indian Diaspora spread across the world as a strength rather than numbers, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi was speaking after inaugurating the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, a facility dedicated to the Indian community abroad, on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on Sunday.

The event was streamed live from New Delhi across 70 Indian missions worldwide.

“In more than 150 nations of the world whether we have established our mission there or not, I am positive, a Pravasi Bharatiya (Indian immigrant) would have established roots in every place worldwide,” Modi said, while extolling the virtues of the community.

Collective strength of the Diaspora

“The collective strength of the Diaspora, which is evident by the rising number of global Indians, should be harnessed by our missions, and the mission leader should forge a bond with the Diaspora such that they work toward helping the community as well as enhancing the role of the mission,” he said.

He added that the world was keener now than earlier “to engage with India”.

“In such times ‘fear of unknown’ can be an obstacle. Our Diaspora can help overcome this. They just have to tell the world that we belong to India,” he said.

The prime minister stressed on the need to connect with the Diaspora and hailed his predecessor Atal Behari Vajpayee who “coined the idea of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas and it has since continued.”

About Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra

The Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra located in south Delhi’s Chanakyapuri will serve as the focal point of the institutional framework to benefit from networks with and among overseas Indians.

The center is expected to develop into the hub of activities for sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding economic, social and cultural engagement between India and its Diaspora.

Among other facilities, the complex has a library, research center, flexible capacity meeting rooms, cultural center, auditorium of 500 capacity, 24 guest rooms, business centers and restaurant.

Earlier, Minster of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said this center is “a memorial for those who went abroad” to earn a living for themselves and their families before the inauguration of the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra in New Delhi.

“This is no ordinary building. This is a memorial for our forefathers who went abroad. This is remembrance for them, it’s a proof of our tradition,” said Swaraj while thanking Premier Modi for accepting with alacrity to inaugurate the exclusive center for the Diaspora

Swaraj said the center represented the beauty and diversity of our heritage as well as India’s modernity.

“There are many facilities in this centre for the pravasis (Diaspora). They can stay in this building as well. It incorporates the art and culture of every state of India,” she added.

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