While the prominent People of Indian Origin (PIO) from Parliament attended yesterday’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in India, a similar event was held locally which sought to honour some of the most exemplary Indo-Guyanese.
The event was held at the Indian Cultural Centre, Bel Air, Georgetown.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is a celebratory day observed annually on January 9 by the Republic of India to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas means ‘Diaspora’, as explained by the High Commissioner of India, Mr. Venkatachalam Mahalingam. In an invited comment, the envoy said the event is one that, “Signifies the first greatest Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Indian Diaspora) person Mahatma Gandhi, who came back from South Africa to India to lead the Independence struggle in India”.
It is an event that started in 2003, according to an Indian Official.
Mr. Mahalingam said it was also “aimed at reconnecting the Indian Diaspora with its ancestral land and spirit”.
Additionally, the High Commissioner said, “We celebrate every year on the ninth of January as the Indian Diaspora day. So far we have had 13 annual conferences (in India). 2015 was the last annual Indian Diaspora Conference, which was held in India. Subsequently we have been having Diaspora Conferences every two years”.
In the absence of the Diaspora Conferences, seminars are held.
This year happens to be the first year that the Diaspora Conference has in its audience People of Indian Origin from Guyana’s Parliament.
The High Commissioner noted that during this year’s conference in India, the Prime Minister lauded the delegates for preserving the Indian culture, while excelling in many different areas such as Sports and Arts among others.
As previously reported, Guyana has sent the largest delegation of the 24 countries that participated in the activity. Some 134 participants were in attendance at the Indian Conference, the envoy said.
The Prime Minister of India, according to him, wanted to meet and thank these persons for their contributions towards their mother country.
In further enlightening the public of yesterday’s proceedings, Chairperson Indranie Mangra said, “During the event, individuals of exceptional merit are honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya award, to appreciate their role in English… as well as their exceptional contributions made in their chosen field. This is also a forum for discussing key issues concerning the Indian Diaspora”.
This was the third of its kind that was hosted in Guyana.
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