Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India
The inquisitive nature of human beings led them to explore. It is often in search of resources to enhance the quality of life and lead safe and secure lives. With newer modes of transportation becoming available, humans’ ventures into exploring far off places. While exploring the world, some found the places they explored conveniently and stayed back. The history of immigration dates centuries. It is in search of education, employment, and ultimately for a better quality of life in modern times. Wherever one decides to live and settle down, the heart remains connected with the place of their origin. When one migrates, they leave behind the families, friends, and culture of the societies they have been part of. After achieving the material comforts and progress made in their career or business, the longing to be connected to the root echoes. Adapting to the cultural diversity of the place adopted to live becomes a challenge. When one becomes prosperous and makes progress, the urge and longing to give back to the society that made you what you are getting enhanced. The joy it gives to see the Indians being successful the world over indicates our connection. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (NRI Day) reflects such celebrations and recognition of the contributions made by a larger number of people living in other countries. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non-Resident Indian Day) is celebrated on January 9 every year to mark the contribution of the Overseas Indian community to the development of India.
On this day in 1915, Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi, perhaps the greatest Pravasi from our country, returned to India from South Africa. What happened afterwards is history. Observing the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas helps network, build partnerships, and promote investment, education, and culture. The credit of this initiative goes to former prime minister late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who in 2002 announced the commemoration of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas every January 9. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was celebrated annually from 2003 till 2015. In 2016, the Ministry of External Affairs decided to commemorate the event every two years. This year, Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conference was held on the theme “Role of Diaspora Youth in Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav- Innovation and New Technologies.” Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi, a centre dedicated to the welfare of the Indian Diaspora, was recently renamed Sushma Swaraj Bhavan as a tribute to the late leader.
Overseas Indians, officially known as Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) or Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), are people of Indian birth or ancestry who live outside India. According to a Ministry of External Affairs report, 32 million NRIs and PIOs reside outside India. Overseas Indians comprise the world’s largest overseas diaspora. It is estimated that 25 lakh Indians migrate overseas every year, which is the highest annual number of migrants globally. The term says non-resident refers to the tax status of a citizen. Remittances to India from Non-resident Indians (NRIs) is one of India’s biggest sources of foreign exchange. India is the world’s leading receiver of remittances, claiming more than 12% of the world’s remittances. Perhaps there is no country in the world where Indians do not live. Mauritius has 65%, Gulf countries like UAE (42%), Saudi Arabia (23%), Qatar (39%)UK (1.8%), USA (1.3%), West Indies countries, Fiji (34%). Indians were the most educated migrant group, be it Australia, the UK, New Zealand, or the USA. Indian Americans are the third-largest Asian American ethnic group.
People of Indian Origin are also recognised for their services by awarding Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the highest honour given to overseas Indians. Satyanarayana Nadella (Microsoft), Donald Rabindernauth Ramaotar (former President of Guyana), Mala Mehta (founder of Indo- Australian Bal Bharatiya Vidyalaya in Australia), Kamlesh Lulla (chief scientist at NASA), Nandini Tandon (life sciences, Healthcare, and IT in the USA) are some of them honoured for their contributions. Dr Siddeek Ahmed, a business tycoon residing in the gulf, is the latest recipient.
The joy that brings to Indians when they see people of Indian origin achieve success and contribute. Getting prosperity and spreading happiness should be the goal for every individual. Success cannot be in isolation. The fruits of success must be shared by the communities and societies in which one lives. While the mind would be where one chooses to live, the heart continues to be connected to the roots. Celebrate the success at the same time share the same. Achieving success is joy. Sharing is more joyful. Let us celebrate Indians who are not residing in this country.