The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi on 2nd October 2016.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was an appropriate occasion for such an event. He said Mahatma Gandhi had left India, but the call of the nation brought him back.
He said the Indian diaspora should be looked at, not just in terms of its “Sankhya” (numbers), but also in terms of its “Shakti” (strength). He said that for years the term “brain drain” has been in vogue. But if we look at the diaspora as our strength we can convert it this to “brain gain.”
The Prime Minister said that at a time when the world is keen to engage with India, the “fear of the unknown” can be the biggest obstacle, which the Indian diaspora can help overcome.
Emphasizing the importance of connecting with the diaspora, he said former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had initiated the concept of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which has been continued by successive governments.
The Prime Minister said that India, and especially the Ministry of External Affairs, has done significant humanitarian work in the last two years. He noted how not just Indians, but citizens of many other countries have been rescued from conflict and disaster situations.
The Prime Minister said that India has never attacked another nation. He recalled the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers protecting foreign lands in the two world wars, and added that the world must recognize this sacrifice.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister also visited the exhibition on “Gandhi – Ek Pravasi.” He launched a booklet on Yoga Protocol for Diabetes control, and distributed prizes to winners of the ‘Know India’ Quiz.
The telecast from India was watched by Pravasi Bharatiya people at the Indian Consulate’s Indian Cultural Centre in Sydney.