Gandhinagar, 21 May-2014(ANI): Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi met Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal at her residence…
Gujarat(ANI): The Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally inaugurated the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, which is being held in Gujarat on Thursday to mark the centenary of India’s, ‘Sarva Sreshtha Pravasi Bharatiya’, Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa to India.
A traditional welcome was given to a host of national and international leaders who were present on the inaugural occasion by felicitating them.
Speaking at the event, PM Narendra Modi said, ” I welcome all of you and there are several opportunities waiting for you in India. Times have changed very quickly. World is seeing India with immense hope and optimism.”
He further added, “Indian community is admired all around the world. It is not due to the money but the values the Indian community is living with. We have so much to give to the world. What is needed is the confidence in ourselves.”
Invoking Gandhi, Modi said his philosophies and teachings continue to inspire the world when it comes to humane development and resolving various problems facing the world.
“When it comes to development while keeping humanity at its core, there is nothing greater than Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophies,” he said.
Exhorting the diaspora to participate in the Clean Ganga initiative, he said the exercise is not only important from religious and environmental perspectives but also key to economic development of 40 per cent of India’s population.
Stating that he had met more than 50 world leaders in the short span, he said, “All the world leaders I met expressed desire to partner with India. Such opportunities do not come easily in a country’s life. Be it most developed nation of World or the poorest one, every nation is looking at India today. so it is the responsibility of every Indian, including Pravasis to become the driving force to achieve new results for India.”
He further stated, “United Nation celebrates many international days, I suggested why shouldn’t we celebrate International Yoga Divas. I put forth the idea of Yoga day in the UN and 177 countries out of 193 were keen on co-sponsoring it. 177 countries supported my proposal as co sponsors, including around 40 Muslim countries.”
The Prime Minister further added, “We had said that a PIO card holder will be given visa all his life, it has been done. PIO and OCI have been merged and everyone would be able to enjoy same facilities now.”
Welcoming PM Narendra Modi at the event, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “Without his guidance this wouldn’t have been possible. It pleases all Indians that overseas Indians are respected for their outstanding contributions to countries of their residence.”
The Prime Minister, accompanied by Union Urban Development Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu, was received at the Ahmedabad airport last night by Gujarat Governor O. P. Kohli and Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, among others.
Addressing party workers, Prime Minister Modi reiterated his commitment for clean India by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has already been addressed by several cabinet ministers, including Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs General (Retired) V.K. Singh.
The prime minister is likely to push the programs like ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’, ‘Make-in-India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart Cities’ among the Indian Diaspora.
The three-day conclave is being held at the Mahatma Mandir complex in Gandhinagar to mark the centenary of India’s, ‘Sarva Sreshtha Pravasi Bharatiya’, Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa to India.
Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari will present the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards tomorrow.