Asserting that Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is a celebration to mark the return to India of one of the greatest Pravasis Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Indians abroad are valued not just for their strength in numbers but are respected for the contributions they make.
He was accompanied by his Portugal counterpart Dr Antonio Costa, who is the chief guest for the event. “This is a stage where the host and the guest are the same,” said Modi speaking at the event.
Talking about Indians living abroad, Modi said, “30 million Indians abroad are valued not just for strength in numbers but for contributions to India and to countries where they live.”
Praising the Indian diaspora, he said it represents the best of Indian culture, ethos and values. This year, the focus of the meet is on the role of youth in transforming society.
“For my government and for me personally, engagement with overseas Indian community has been a priority,” he added.
Calling the Indian diaspora a ‘valuable partner in our journey of development’, the Prime Minister said the objective was to turn ‘brain drain’ into ‘brain gain’.
Remittance of close to 69 billion dollars annually by overseas Indians makes an invaluable contribution to the Indian economy, the PM said.
PM Modi announced that ‘directed embassies’ will henceforth be proactive towards needs and problems of Indian community abroad. He also thanked the disapora for supporting the government’s move against black money.