President Kovind delivered the Valedictory Keynote address of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention, 2021.
“The recent success of our scientists and technicians in developing two COVID vaccines is a major achievement for the Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan which is driven by the spirit of global well-being,” said Kovind at 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention.
The President said that year 2020 has been the year of a global crisis caused by the COVID-19.
“India has been at the forefront in forging a global response to combat the enormous challenges posed by the pandemic. We supplied medicines to nearly 150 countries, making the world look at India as the ‘pharmacy of the world’, the President said.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Indian diaspora in several countries came together in ensuring critical medical supplies, helping stranded students, caring for the elderly, raising funds and providing meals to the vulnerable, the President stated.
“I invite each one of you to be a part of India’s transformation story and contribute to it with your ideas, business models, investments, technical expertise and knowledge sharing,” the President said.
“It gives me pleasure to connect with you at the valedictory session of this event. I’m very proud of Indian diaspora members who’ve worked to forward Indian culture and establish links between India and their adopted countries,” he added.
India has one of the largest diaspora populations of nearly 30 million, residing in every corner of the world today. It has been aptly put that ‘the sun never sets on the Indian diaspora’, he added.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to severe travel disruptions. I appreciate the role played by the Ministry of External Affairs and our Missions abroad for reaching out to the diaspora by facilitating their travel in these difficult times, President Kovind added.
The President of India further said, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is also an occasion to recall Gandhiji‘s ideals for individual and collective life. Gandhiji’s emphasis on Indianness, non-violence, ethics, simplicity and sustainable development remain our guiding principles, he added.
“We are indebted to Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji whose vision re-energized the links with our diaspora. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations started in 2003 when he was the Prime Minister of India,” said Kovind.
It is appropriate that the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra has been renamed as Sushma Swaraj Bhavan as a mark of tribute to Sushmaji’s invaluable contribution to the cause of the Indian diaspora, said Kovind.
“Her compassion and affection touched a large number of Indians abroad,” the President further stated.