Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unmatchable aura and NRIs’ love for him was at full display when he took the stage to address the gathering on Day 2 of PBD 2017. Mention of his name sent the massive BIEC hall into studied frenzy with the chants of ‘Modi, Modi’, clapping, cheering and whistling reverberating in the hall.
The PM was present at PBD along with chief guest Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Suriname Vice President Michael Ashwin Adhin, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel and Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh.
While inaugurating the three-day mega event, Modi urged the Indian diaspora to participate in the government’s flagship programmes like Make In India, Start-up India, Swacch Bharat (Clean India) and Namami Gange (Clean Ganga) and contribute in India’s success story.
Narendra Modi who’s quite popular among Indians abroad kept the audience hooked to their seats with his powerful speech. From “Hum passport ka colour nahi dekhte, khoon ke rishte samajhte hai” to “Aapke sapne, humara sankalp,” he didn’t leave a single chance to amaze the audience and garner the loudest applause.
Here are the key points from Narendra Modi’s address:
- Indians abroad are valued not just for their strength in numbers. They are respected for the positive contributions they make the countries of their residence.
- The Indian diaspora represents the best of Indian culture, ethos and values.
- Engagement with the overseas Indian community has been a key area of priority for me and my government.
- Remittance of close to sixty nine billion dollars annually by overseas Indians makes an invaluable contribution to the Indian economy.
- NRIs and PIOs have made outstanding contributions to their chosen fields.
- The welfare and safety of all Indians abroad is our top priority.
- The security of Indian nationals abroad is of utmost importance to us.
- For those workers who seek economic opportunities abroad, our effort is to provide maximum facilitation and ensure least inconvenience.
- I would again encourage all PIO Card holders to convert their PIO Cards to OCI Cards.
- We will shortly launch a skill development program - the Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana - targeted at Indian youth seeking overseas employment.
- Starting with Mauritius, we are working to put in place procedures so that descendants of Girmitiyas could become eligible for OCI Cards.
- We remain committed to addressing similar difficulties of PIOs in Fiji, Reunion Islands, Suriname, Guyana and other Caribbean States.
- We welcome all your efforts that seek to strengthen India’s partnership with the overseas Indian community.
- PM concluded with - whether knowledge, time or money, we welcome your contributions that strengthen India’s partnership with overseas community.