Seeking deeper engagement of the Indian diaspora for the country’s growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said a whole lot of possibilities were awaiting them in India as it has “risen” with new strength.
In his address at the 13th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas here, which marked the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa, he said the whole world was looking at India with great expectations and what was needed was confidence and capability.
Describing Indian diaspora as “great capital” for the country, the Prime Minister appealed to the community of over 25 million people living in over 200 countries to help transform the nation.
“I am convinced that people of Indian origin are our capital and strength,” he said adding, “if we focus on this segment, we can create a lot of respect for the country globally”.
Making it clear that it is not only the “pound sterling and the dollars” that the government is interested in, Modi asked the diaspora to help in transforming India.
“Those who want to work, there is a lot you can do,” he said, citing the example of a young Muslim girl of Indian origin born in an African nation and settled in Canada, who stayed in Kutch for months to help with the post-earthquake rehabilitation work in 2001.
Referring to merging of the PIO and OCI cards through a recent Ordinance and extending visa on arrival facilities for several countries, Modi said his government has fulfilled the promises made to them.
“There used to be a time when you left your beloved country to explore opportunities in different parts of the world…Now I want to assure you that lot many possibilities are awaiting you as time is changing rapidly and India has risen with new strength,” Modi said to around 4,000 members of the diaspora.
President of Guyana Donald R Ramotar, South Africa’s International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel were among those present at the event.