India: Largest delegation of expats from UAE to attend diaspora convention

Flagship event of the Indian government to see over 700 people as part of the delegation


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Mon 26 Dec 2022, 10:16 PM

The 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) is set to welcome a huge delegation of around 750 Indian expats from the UAE to Indore, India, making it the largest delegation from any foreign country.

The flagship event of the government of India to connect with the overseas Indian diaspora would also see a contingent of around 200 students from the UAE, making it a first, for pupils to be attending the convention from the UAE.

Blue-collar workers, female members from various UAE forums, businessmen, philanthropists and other community members will also be a part of the delegation to attend the event that will be held from January 8 to 10, 2023.

Consul-General of India in Dubai Dr Aman Puri said: “Several of the community members have supported the delegation to travel for the PBD at Indore in January. We are very pleased that the largest delegation from outside India is from the UAE. It is no surprise because we also host the largest Indian community outside India which is almost 3.3 million people. We are also very pleased that in this delegation we’ll have a very strong contingent of the students, young Indians who would be connecting with the socio-economic transformation of India, will be looking at the economic transformation of India, looking at how the country is transforming and how they can play a role in the future of the country.”

He added: “We also have a very large delegation of our brothers and sisters from the blue-collar community and it’s a matter of deep satisfaction for us that they will be a part of a very diverse delegation including female members. We have the Indian women of Dubai supporting this delegation and of course distinguished members of the Indian community like the entrepreneurs and philanthropists have been very generous with their support. We would also like to thank all the Indian associations for bringing everyone together and making sure that this is the largest delegation.”

During the convention, selected overseas Indians are also honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to recognise their contributions to various fields both in India and abroad.

Senior community member and Indian businessman in Dubai Ram Buxani opined: “The other day, during a discussion with the CG, we thought why not involve school students because after studying from KG to 12 they often end up going to the Western countries for higher education. Not many of them go back to India. So, our culture is not retained. We have quite a few schools under our ambit, so we thought why don’t we send these students to India for the event. The response was very positive. Other schools also stepped forward. We must sell the idea of what our country has to offer, to the next generation.”

Punit MK Vasu, CEO, The Indian High Group of Schools said: “Our students will greatly benefit from different youth-focused theme-based panel discussions and also interact with Indian students pan India and across the world. Our students will get unique insights to better understand the strengths of the Indian diaspora and will definitely be inspired by the contributions, investments and innovations in technology made by the Indian community working together despite living in different parts of the world.”

Adnan Athar, Grade XI student of DPS Dubai who has been selected as part of the delegation, said: “We are all a bit disconnected with how things work in India because we are all living here but it’s very nice to get this opportunity to go to India and see how things work there and meet a lot of famous people including Ministers.”

Another student, Gunbir from GEMS New Millenium said: “I have been selected for this event and it is a really good feeling. It will be a new learning experience where I will learn about the past and the future of the country that I originally come from.”

Shedding light on how this event is a platform to engage with the overseas Indian diaspora, Jitendra Vaidya, president of Indian People’s Forum (IPF), said: “We are offering a very reasonable package that includes registration, Sharjah-Mumbai flight (back and forth), luxury buses and hotel stay. Everything is covered in Dh1,500. We are taking the largest ever delegation which should cross 750 to 800 people with over 500 students confirmed already.”

Sharing his excitement to be a part of a delegation that will see the participation of blue-collar workers, Kedaru Singh, a driver at EFS Facility Management Service, noted: “I have been a driver here for the past 11 years. I am very excited that I have been selected to be a part of this group. I am glad that our country’s government created this opportunity for people like us and the fact that my organisation selected me for this. We are around 25 people and all of us are extremely excited.”

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