Sushma Swaraj urges youth diaspora to connect, celebrate and contribute to the making of ‘Shreshth Bharat’

Sushma Swaraj urges youth diaspora to connect, celebrate  and contribute to the making of ‘Shreshth Bharat’ at Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Ms. Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister for External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs has exhorted the Indian youth diaspora to ‘connect, celebrate and contribute’ to the transformational change being witnessed in India in the making of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat’.

Inaugurating the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) at Mahatma Mandir at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat today, January 7, 2015, Ms Swaraj said, “The Indian youth diaspora can become ambassadors of the ‘new’ India as “you have retained a bit of India in your heart and each one of you have a bit of ‘Bharat’ in you.”

The Minister said that Youth PBD was not just about interacting with the young people of this country but has emerged as an important platform for the diaspora to discover and nurture their roots.

She appealed to the youth to connect with the young generation of Indians - over 50% of the Indian people were under 25 years. Youth PBD, she said, was an occasion to celebrate India’s traditions, art and culture, even as the country strives to empower its youth with technology.

“What excites the world today is India’s growth story,” Ms. Swaraj said and pointed to the government’s success in bringing about a complete transformation of the business sentiment in the country. This, she added, was the outcome of the numerous steps undertaken by the government to improve the ease of doing business.

Ms. Swaraj said the diaspora could contribute significantly to the development of India through programmes such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, creation of smart cities and other physical infrastructure.

In his address, Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports, suggested that overseas youth organisations could connect and coordinate their activities with India’s National Service Scheme (NSS) to make a mark in India’s education and social sector space. He called upon the youth diaspora to spread to the world the richness of the values and traditions of Indian society.

He said that young Indians have made valuable contributions in different spheres in their host countries. The diaspora has strong links with India and continue to support India’s developmental efforts. This is evidenced by the annual remittances which are placed at US$ 70 billion annually, he said an expressed the hope that the young diaspora would chip in with their contribution to the huge investment that was required to make the government’s new initiatives a success

Ms. Priti Patel, MP, UK Prime Minister’s Diaspora Champion and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, The UK, in her remarks, said that Britain was home to over 1.5 million expatriate Indians who firmly believed in family  values, enterprise and service to others. “The young people are our shared hope and it was important to educate and skill them as tomorrow’s prosperity depends on them,” she added.

Dr. Rashmi Das, Chairperson, World Organisation of Students & Youth, pointed out that the principles that defined India were character for knowledge seeking and work efficiency; peace keeping infrastructure and the spirit of voluntarism. She urged the youth diaspora to look at India’s development as a common cause and dedicate themselves to its achievement.

Mr. Sunil Soni, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, welcomed the delegates and Mr. Rajeev Gupta, Secretary, Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, presented  a vote of thanks.

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