Monday 19 March, 2018

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas sees greater footfall, but little communication

By Bivekananda Biswas

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) People who came from across the world to attend the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the annual gathering of the Indian diaspora that concluded here Thursday, say, though the event is gaining steam every year, they found a lack of communication among the participants.

A number of people from various corners of the world whom this IANS correspondent spoke to, said they have felt the event somewhat chaotic with a lack of communication and the purpose of their visit was not really fulfilled.

However, people, who have attended past years’ programs as well, say footfall at the annual event is increasing every year.

Kushagra Bhatnagar, an Australia-based financial analyst and active member of the Overseas Friends of BJP, said he came to Delhi to attend the program but he did not find anything interesting, and therefore, was leaving for Australia without attending the third day’s program.

Ravinder Singh, chair of the Indo Commonwealth Ex-Army Heritage, who came from Canada, said that there was a lack of communication in the event.

“People of Indian origin from across the world are finding it difficult to interact with each other, which is the purpose of the event,” Singh told IANS.

Singh, who has attended the annual diaspora meet since its inception in 2003 every year, however, feels that the program is getting more participative and each year the number of people attending the event is growing.

Shihab Kottukad, consultant to the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) department of the Kerala government and a volunteer at the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia, too has attended the programme every year. He said he found the program very interesting and gets the chance to meet a lot of people from different parts of the world here.

Vinod Daniel, chairman of AusHeritage, an Australian government organization, said this was the first PBD he has attended and he found it very impressive and useful. “Really appreciated hearing first hand from senior ministers and bureaucrats on where they see India going. I personally am very positive about India and this congress has made me more excited about India’s future,” he said.

According to Ramesh Agarwal, a delegate from the US, the event could have been organized better.

“Had a good time here, met so many people but the event could have been more organized,” Agarwal, a professor at Washington University, told IANS.

Subramaniam Kandsamy, a delegate from Malaysia, said the event was yet to gain the full attention of Indians abroad. “Diaspora meets are a good move taken up by the government of India, I appreciate it,” he said.

“Still the event has not yet gained the full attention of non-resident Indians but with experience it will became a good platform for Indians living outside India,” he added.

According to official sources, of the around 900 delegates from 60 countries who attended the event this year, around 200 were from Malaysia.

PBD is celebrated Jan 9 every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India. Jan 9 was chosen as it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa.

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