- December 11, 2018
- Posted by: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
- Category: Facts, PBD India, The Event
India is the hardest hit country by emigration in Asia
Every year, a large percentage of Indians make life threatening journeys to other countries in search of greener pasture.
The High Level Committee (HLC) advised the Indian government to come up with a network of Indian Diaspora and that’s how Pravasi Bharatiya celebration was born.
After receiving recommendation from L. M. Singhvi the chairman of HLC at a public function, former prime minister, Shri Atal Bihari made an announcement that on every 9th January Pravasi Bharatiya Divas would be commemorated. This was in 2002 at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.
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The date was significant as it coincided with the day Mahatma Gandhi returned from South Africa in 1915. It is key to note that Mahatma returned to lead the nation’s freedom march. Since it was inaugurated in 2003, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held annually until 2015 when it was converted to a biennial festival.
This event provides the government with an ideal platform to network and interact with diaspora Indian community who reside in various parts across the world. It also facilitates the participants to share the knowledge and experience garnered from their adopted country. The occasion is also used by the government to confer prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to exceptional individuals as a form of appreciation for their role in the growth of India. The diaspora Indians also seize this opportunity to discuss important issues affecting their welfare in their resident country.
Some instant success has been produced by Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. For instance, during the shattering tsunami in southern coast of India when the 3rd event was held, millions of dollars were raised to aid the victims through the PBD.
Also, creating opportunities in education, connecting diaspora youths and strengthening cooperation in the different fields as well as important strides in policy making were achieved during the fourth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event. Important figures and key note speakers such as Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, have graced the occasion.
To ensure it has wide coverage, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has used various innovative techniques. For example, the use of blogging and live tweets was put on use to broadcast 2010 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas which was held between 7th to 9th January in New Delhi. There has been also an online platform powered by Kotak Mahindra Bank, Pravasi Bharatiya which was launched.
Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
There are Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas which have been held in various countries beyond the borders of India, besides the main event been held in different cities across India. Until now, different eight cities have played host to Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, they include Mauritius, New York, Toronto, Sydney, The Hague and Durban.
Singapore is scheduled to host the 2018 Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. The Indian diaspora who are not able to attend the main occasion in India, are given a chance to connect and feel their motherland by the regional event.
Several cities have hosted the main event in different places in India, this include New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Gandhinagar, Kochi, Jaipur, Chennai and Hyderabad.