Varanasi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday urged Indians living in countries across the world to take advantage of the “billion opportunities” available in India and become a part of the growth story.
“India today is a land of billion opportunities,” Kovind said while delivering the valedictory address at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the conclave of the Indian diaspora, here.
“I invite each one of you to become a part of India’s growth story which is being etched by its billion minds,” he said.
“We want to leverage your technology, knowhow and investment to power our Make in India, Digital India, Clean India and Skill India programmes.”
Kovind called upon the gathering to encourage people in their respective countries to visit India as knowledge providers and as tourists.
Urging overseas Indians to connect with their ancestral villages and towns here in India, he said: “We want to change the brain-drain of yesterday to brain-gain of today.”
The President said that the Indian diaspora is among the largest in the world and its history is as rich and diverse as the diaspora itself.
“In the past, our ancestors travelled to Southeast Asia as merchants and as monks,” he said.
“Much later, many lived and prospered as traders and entrepreneurs along the Silk Route.
“And more than a century ago, under the indenture system, we witnessed millions of our people crossing the seven seas.”
Kovind said that members of the Indian diaspora are today commanding global heights while embracing their cultural ethos and diversity. “And while they do so, they must also preserve and strengthen their unity as a community.”
He also said the Indian diaspora’s success and hard work have set an example.
“They are the face of India and its identity abroad,” he stated.
Stating that India is proud of them and their achievements, Kovoind said: “But what really makes their contributions stand out are the values that they espouse and live for. These are values that intrinsically remain Indian.”