New Delhi: The prime minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurated the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas Convention Saturday.

Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister complimented the overseas Indians for their role during the Corona pandemic in their respective countries. He said that during his discussions with the State heads, he always felt pride in the overseas Indians when the heads praised the Indian’s in their countries for their contribution as doctors, paramedics and as general citizens. He also noted the contribution of the overseas Indian’s in India’s fight against COVID.

Noting India’s role in dealing with Y2K crisis and  strides made by the Indian pharma industry, the Prime Minister said that India’s capabilities always benefit humanity. India is always at the forefront of mitigation of global challenges. India’s lead in fight against colonialism and terrorism gave strength to the world to face these menaces.

The prime minister said that much of the credit of the world’s trust in India, its food, fashion, family values and business values goes to the overseas Indians. Conduct of the overseas Indians created an interest in Indian way and values and what started as curiosity turned into convention.

The prime minister said that as India is moving with the goal of Aatmnirbhar India, the overseas Indian have a major role to play as their use of made in  India products will create more confidence in Indian products. 

The prime minister also explained to the diaspora, India’s capable response to the pandemic. He said globally, there is no other example of this kind of democratic unity against the virus. Despite dependence in critical things like PPE kits, masks, ventilators or testing kits, India developed its capabilities not only to become self-reliant but started exporting many things. Today, India is among the countries with the least fatality rate and fastest recovery rate. As pharmacy of the world, India is helping the world and entire world is looking at India as the country prepares to embark upon the largest vaccination programme in the world with two Indigenously developed vaccines.

The prime minister outlined the progress made by the country in reining in corruption through direct benefit transfer (DBT) which came in for global praise during the pandemic period. Similarly, empowerment of the poor and strides in the field of renewable energy are bringing laurels to the country.

The prime minister pointed out that today’s India’s space programme, tech start-up ecosystem, its ‘unicorns’ are subverting the age-old narrative of India’s illiteracy. He invited the overseas Indians to take advantage of the reforms undertaken during the recent months in areas ranging from education to enterprise. He specially mentioned Production Linked Subsidies Scheme to popularize manufacturing in this regard.

The prime minister assured the diaspora of all the support from their motherland. He mentioned Vande Bharat Mission in which more than 45 lakh Indians were rescued during Corona times. He also informed about the deplomatic efforts to protect employment of the overseas Indians. There has been initiative of ‘Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support’ (SWADES) for returning immigrants from Gulf and other area. He also talked about Global Pravasi Rishta portal for better connectivity and communication with the Pravasi Bhartiyas.

 The prime minister thanked Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of the Republic of Suriname for his leadership and keynote address. He expressed hope to meet him soon. Modi also congratulated the winners of Pravasi Bhartiya Samman and winners of the quiz competition.

 The prime minister asked the diaspora to participate in the celebration of 75th anniversary of the country’s freedom. He asked the members of the diaspora and people in Indian Missions world over to prepare a portal, a digital platform where contribution of the Pravasi Bhartiyas in the freedom struggle of India can be documented.