Shout out to all Non-resident Indians(NRI) and Persons of Indian origin(PIO) living abroad!
Do you know that your mother country celebrates your achievements and your contribution to development of India each year for three whole days. They have named it as the PBD-Pravasi Bharatiya Divas(Non-resident Indian Day) and it has grown to be kind of a big deal. I assume its importance will grow in years to come as you guys are becoming a more and more important factor in India’s rise economically, politically and diplomatically.
The 2014 version of PBD has been launched today(7th January) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Since 2003(when India has gained enough confidence to dream of becoming a global leader) has been formally reaching out to you guys. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas(PBD) convention is conducted by Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with a state government each year from 7th to 9th January. The last day i.e 9th Jan is commemorated as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
In the history of India, 9th of January 1915, is a epoch signifying day. On that day, the most famous Pravasi of all, the father of the nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has returned to India, arriving at Bombay port to be received by thousands of native Indians who heard about his successes in South Africa. He applied the skills he learnt from his experiments with truth done abroad, here. He brought the mighty British empire to its Knees, not by violence but through love and truth. The world has been deeply affected by his teachings and experiments ever since. The PBD this year is even more special as it commemorates the centenary(100th anniversary) of MG’s return.
The government of India hopes that the Pravasis will take inspiration from Gandhiji to employ their energy and skills learned abroad for the sake of development of India.
Indian diaspora is one of the most vibrant and well respected expat community in the world. They become model guests and get well integrated with the culture of their host country. But they are also very proud of their Indian background and are steadfast in promoting their language, customs, clothing etc in their country. Do you know that India tops the list of highest foreign exchange remittances receiving countries, last year pravasis have sent over $70 billion back home. It shows the strong bonds the expat community holds with the home country, Indian Diaspora has become an important element in projecting the soft power of India, which enormously helps in diplomatic engagement with host countries by India, eg. republican politicians who attended the highly successful Modi’s MSG(Madison Square garden) event, describing Narendra Modi as the next Ronald Reagan(one of the most loved president of USA by republicans) of the world did not go unnoticed by the establishment powers and the US news media. Indian origin persons have become doctors, politicians, media personalities, teachers, community workers, lawyers,actors etc in their host country earning respect and a bit of envy 😀
Take a look at this video of TyT(The Young Turks) about the success of Indian Americans. The story is the same in other countries as well.
Now enough of sucking up:
India still faces enormous challenges: around 40% of children in India are malnourished or stunted, There is a huge sanitation problem, over half the populations relieve itself in open area. Every year 12 million young Indians are entering the job market(equals to 18% of UK’s population!) where manufacturing sector has not been creating enough jobs.
Though diaspora’s contribution is encouraging, clearly you can do more. Especially those people who got educated in publicly funded universities, need to step up their contribution to their native country. By contributions i do not mean funds or aid, i mean skills and solutions. As you know India is rich but Indians are poor. The problem is in finding effective solutions and working with the government to implement them. Fortunately, the present NaMo government at the centre and state CMs like N Chandrababu Naidu and others have shown keen interest in taking help and encouraging diaspora to engage themselves in developing solutions. There are practical advantages to do business in India too. India is the 2nd fastest growing economy in the world and according to a december report of Goldman Sachs, it is set to overtake China in real GDP growth rate by 2016. There is a growing middle class which translates into a huge market. India is the youngest nation on earth as it has 50% of youth below 25 years of age. Hence dear Pravasis, come and ‘Make in India’ and let us work together to realize the dream of a developed India!
While searching for pictures for the article, i stumbled upon some very funny Indian memes, enjoy them 🙂
For the next three days, i will write articles about three sectors where our expat community has been highly influential.