Gandhinagar:Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar by lightening the ceremonial lamp. About 4,000 NRI from over 58 countries have been reported to have attended the annual fest which brings together the Indians residing throughout the globe.
Among the others present at the event were Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. Among the others present were Guyanese President Donald Ramotar, who was the chief Guest for the occasion and South-African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
The event is being held in Gandhinagar from January 7-9 to mark the centenary of India’s “sarva sreshtha pravasi Bharatiya”, or foremost Indian diaspora member, Mahatma Gandhi’s return to the country from South Africa.
Speaking on the occasion Modi said, “There are Indian nationals in 0ver 200 countries across the globe. They have taken India over there along with them. People used to leave India in pursuit of opportunities and aspirations. Those are now available in India only. Times have changed very quickly and the world is seeing India with immense hope and optimism.” He also said that the Indian people have been admired throughout the world not only because they have money, but also for the values they hold.
He said, “All world leaders I met have expressed desire to partner with India. Such opportunities do not come easily in a nation’s life.The world is ready to embrace India. We have so much to offer, what is needed is confidence in ourselves. There is a different strength when we meet our own people and share our joys and sorrows. It’s a source of great energy. Everything can’t be measured in pounds or dollars. Our relationship with people of Indian origin is beyond that.”
While concluding his speech Modi also proposed for a quiz competition (Bharat Ko Jano) to be held at the event.