Addressing the youth session of the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at the Vigyan Bhavan here, Ravi said he was happy and privileged to meet the youth, andhoped that as in the past, the 12th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas would foster a new bond between India and her overseas Indian citizens.
He said that this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) would be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday, and added that President Pranab Mukherjee would eliver the valedictory address on Thursday.
"Today, we are meeting for the special sessions organised for youth. It is very heartening to see young diaspora delegates from second and third generations of people of Indian origin in this august gathering. Your mother country, India has been recognising and appreciating the valuable contribution of its diaspora by granting Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards to its distinguished diaspora members who have excelled in various fields," Ravi said.
"This 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is very significant in view of the fact that a Youth PBD is being celebrated on the first day. Considering the fact that the youth population in India is one of the largest in the whole world, this makes India a very youthful and vibrant country. It is estimated that more than 50 per cent of our working population is between the age group of 18-35 years and are contributing immensely to the growth and development of our great country India," he added.
He said that it was exhilarating to note that diaspora youth are also excelling in various fields and contributing immensely to the growth of their host countries, in the same way their parents and forefathers did.
"Many young people of Indian origin are beginning to occupy important positions of leadership in their countries. It is also pertinent to note that the youth diaspora is upholding the great traditions and cultural heritage of their mother country India, thereby setting valuable examples for the youth population of their host countries," the minister said.
"The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has been in the forefront in engaging the youth diaspora residing in various countries by introducing various schemes and projects like Know India Programme (KIP); Study India Programme (SIP) and Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC). These schemes and programmes have benefitted the diaspora youth as well as the diaspora children immensely by exposing them to the cultural heritage and the growth and development story of their mother country, India," Ravi said.
"It is our endeavour to further enrich and expand these programmes so that our young diaspora continue to benefit and stay connected to their mother country. This association will be mutually beneficial to all of you and your host country as well as to your ancestral country, India. It is my hope that the deliberations in today's meetings will throw up new ideas for us to engage more with Pravasi youth," he concluded.
--ANI (Posted on 07-01-2014)