Indian High Commission in London launches Chalo India, Living Bridges campaigns

The High Commission of India in London has flagged off two major campaigns targeted at the Indian diaspora — ‘Chalo India’ to promote diaspora tourism in India; and ‘Living Bridges’ to celebrate the contributions of people of Indian origin to life in the United Kingdom.

Chalo India campaign
A scene from the Chalo India campaign. Screenshot courtesy: X/@IndianDiplomacy

The ‘Chalo India Global Diaspora Campaign’, which was announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, earlier this week, kicked off in London on Friday. The campaign addresses members of the Indian diaspora, asking to visit India and also to encourage their non-Indian friends to explore the rich bounty of tourist destinations in India.

“I think there is truly an opportunity for you to be incredible ambassadors of an incredible India and celebrate that,” said Vikram Doraiswami, Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, in his address at the gathering at India House.

“Let us also take a moment to remember in Incredible India, the role that incredible Indians — all of you — have contributed to building this relationship between India and the UK; and in particular, the many, many incredible women from India who have built, sustained and carried forward not just a tradition, but a civilisation,” said the envoy.

Living Bridges interview - Asma Khan
Living Bridges campaign interview with British Indian chef Asma Khan. Screenshot courtesy: @HCI_London

To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, the Indian mission’s first set of ‘Living Bridges’ tributes featured women as the central theme. These tributes celebrate the contributions of the nearly 1.8-million-strong British Indian community in the UK.

“These are heroines of the UK-India relationship, featuring contributors in the field of adventure sports, a chess prodigy, culinary achievements, film and business,” noted Doraiswami.

Preet Chandi aka Polar Preet at South Pole
British Indian explorer Preet Chandi has a drink at the South Pole. Screenshot courtesy: Instagram/polarpreet

The first chapter of the ‘Living Bridges’ campaign captures snapshots of the achievements of British Sikh record-breaking mountaineer Preet Kaur Chandi; eight-year-old chess champion Bodhana Sivanandan; celebrated chef Asma Khan; actor Ayesha Dharker; and financial expert Baroness Shriti Vadera.

“I want to become the youngest grandmaster in the world and also become world champion,” said Sivanandan, who made chess history in December last year when she was named the best female player at the European Blitz Chess Championship.

“I’m Sikh, my dad was born in Uttar Pradesh and came to England in his late teens. My mum was born in England but her parents are from Punjab and I grew up in Derby. My heritage is a huge part of who I am,” said Chandi, popularly known as “Polar Preet” for her Antarctic expeditions and Guinness World Records, most recently as the world’s fastest woman to complete a solo South Pole ski expedition.

‘Living Bridges’ intends to shine a light on achievers across different spheres in British life. The first set will be followed up by regular sets of interviews with British Indians; these will be shared across the social media channels of the High Commission of India.