Focus on problems confronted by NRIs Indian minister here

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 11: Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi visited Kuwait on Nov 10-11, 2012 to promote the Eleventh Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) which will be held in Cochin from Jan 7-9, 2013.
The minister was accompanied by T.K. Manoj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and V.N. Ajayan, APS to the Minister.

Kuwait is the first stop-over in the minister’s visit to the GCC region in connection with the PBD 2013. During the visit, the Embassy of India, Kuwait organized a PBD promotional event at its premises which was attended by about 200 people from the Indian community in Kuwait.

The program started with a welcome speech by HH the Ambassador of India to Kuwait Satish C. Mehta, followed by a short film on PBD 2013.

Addressing the gathering the minister urged upon the Indians in Kuwait to attend the PBD 2013 in large numbers to make it successful.

The minister said during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013 the focus will be on issues facing overseas
Indians and those participating in the PBD will have the opportunity to interact with chief ministers of various states.

He also highlighted various measures initiated by his ministry in the interest of the welfare of Indians working overseas. The minister also answered the queries raised by the community members. This was followed by a reception organized by the Ambassador in honor of the Minister. 

Earlier during the day, the minister also had an audience with members of the Indian Doctors Forum at a luncheon meeting. Later, he also attended a dinner hosted in his honor by the Indian Business Council.
The Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards are also conferred on this occasion every year.  PBD has become a significant forum to connect the overseas Indians from across the globe.  About 2,000 NRIs/PIOs from all over the world are expected to participate in PBD 2013.

The venue for the event will be Hotel Le Meridien, Kochi. Prime Minister of India will inaugurate the event on Jan 8, 2013 and President of India will deliver the valedictory address on Jan 9, 2013.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas or the Non-Resident Indian Day, is celebrated in India on January 9 each year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India.

The day commemorates the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi in India from South Africa. Established in 2003, it is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs of the Government of India, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region of India.

The decision to celebrate the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was taken in accordance with recommendations of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora’ (HLC) which was set up by Government of India under the chairmanship of Dr L. M. Singhvi.

The occasion is marked by special programs to recognize the contributions of NRI/PIO individuals of exceptional merit, felicitate NRI/PIO individuals who have made exceptional contributions in their chosen field/profession and provide a forum to discuss issues and concerns of people of the Diaspora.

The event has been organized every year since 2003, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), initially sponsored by FICCI.

By: Paul Francis X. Fernandes Arab Times Staff

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