The diaspora is a powerful driver for sustainable development as it brings an array of benefits not only in the form of investment and financial resources but also in strengthening the labor force, investment, and cultural diversity.
This was the gist of the message of the Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Alan Ganoo, who intervened virtually, this morning, during the opening of the two-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Indian Diaspora Day celebration organized by the Alliance University. He was the Chief Guest at the virtual event. Minister Ganoo underlined that the continuous bonding between the Indian diaspora is essential as it strengthens the sense of belonging and appurtenance as well as creates stronger links of solidarity that transcend regions, borders and oceans.
He recalled that the PBD is celebrated each year on the 9th of January to commemorate the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to Mumbai in 1915. The teachings, struggles, and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi still inspire the Indian diaspora in Mauritius and people worldwide, he said. Recalling that the Indian diaspora is one of the most extensive and diverse in the world, Minister Ganoo highlighted that Mauritius is also a land where myriad diasporas from various continents meet leading to a unique mosaic of cultures, languages, and religions.
According to him, Mauritius has a series of instruments which could be useful to boost the existing partnership between India and the diaspora. He dwelt on the recent signature in February 2021 of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement between Mauritius and India which represents an important milestone in the trade and economic relationship between the two countries. Through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, Mauritius is also ideally positioned to act as the bridge between India and the African continent, he added.
Speaking about COVID-19, the Foreign Affairs Minster underlined the need to reinvent ourselves and harness new technologies to spur further economic and social progress. He stated that the Indian diaspora would be called upon to play a more significant role in tapping new opportunities and addressing emerging challenges. Mr Ganoo also recalled that 2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of a diplomatic presence of India in Mauritius adding that the unique historical and cultural ties bind the two countries together.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated every year on 09 January to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government of India and reconnect them with their roots. PBD is significant because it not only reunites Non Resident Indians (NRIs) with their origins but also recognizes their accomplishments. PBD Conventions aid in the creation of a global network of NRIs and the connection of the youth of today with immigrants, allowing them to flourish and contribute substantially to the nation’s progress.
During the virtual event scheduled on 06 and 07 January, several themes will be on the agenda. They include: Promulgation of Indian religion by Indian diaspora; Diasporic Indian Teaching Community: Challenges and Contributions; Global market and Indian diasporic businessman; Impact of Indian diaspora on global media; and Creole food and Indian diasporic culinary culture. The speakers are from the Alliance University, HSBC Dubai, British Broadcasting Corporation, Mahatma Gandhi Institute in Mauritius, Microsoft India, and Global Organization People of Indian Origin.
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