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Remarks by Ambassador of India to Venezuela Shri Abhishek Singh on Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2021

Posted on: January 10, 2021 | Back | Print

Remarks by Ambassador of India to Venezuela Shri Abhishek Singhon PravasiBhartiya Divas 2021


My dear PravasiBhartiya,

Happy New Year


          Let me at the outset, convey my greetings on the occasion of PravasiBhartiya Divas, 2021.  I am indeed privileged to virtually meet all of you on this important day. As you know, PravasiBhartiya Divas is being celebrated since 2003.  The day, 9thJanuary  was chosen to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa on this day in 1915.


2.      It is a day to celebrate the deep bonds that you have with India and also an occasion to celebrate your achievements and contributions towards strengthening the bonds of friendship with Venezuela.


3.      We are meeting at a time of unprecedented challenges due to the COVID pandemic.  There has been huge disruption all over the world including Venezuela due to this pandemic.  Though vaccine have been approved in several countries including India, we are still some distance from getting back to normalcy.  Government of India and its various Embassies have worked throughout the pandemic.  For me it is a matter of satisfaction to share that despite the challenges, members of the Embassy reported on duty throughout the pandemic and performed their respectivework at the Embassy.



4.      The Indian diaspora around the world has made significant contribution to the political, economic and social context of their adopted country.  In the process they have strengthened the bonds of friendship leading to strong linkages between India and many other countries.


5.      The Indian diaspora which is now more than 30 million have become part and parcel of the country they or their ancestors adopted but they have not forgotten their roots.  The Indian diaspora has remarkably preserved their tradition and culture and are known throughout the world to celebrate our festivals with great fervour.  I must add that in Venezuela the Indian diaspora is relatively small but each one of you and many others who have not been able to participate today, have contributed in their field and thereby further strengthened India Venezuela relationship.


6.      The 16thPravasiBhartiya Divas Convention was held in virtual format on 9th January (midnight here), in New Delhi. PBD convention is the flagship event for the Government’s engagement with the Indian Diaspora and for recognizing their contribution in the development of India. The primary theme of the 16th PBD Convention 2021 is “Contribution to Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, and Facing Post-Covid Challenges – Scenario in Health, Economy, Social and International relations.



7.      Hon’ble Prime Minister addressed the inaugural session in the morning and Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji delivered the valedictory address in the evening.In between the two sessions, “Role of Diaspora in Atmanirbhar Bharat” and “Facing post-Covid challenges” were held. Mr. ChandrikapersadSantokhi, President of Surinam was the Chief Guest of the event. Awards including “PravasiBhartiyaSamman Award” and “Bharat Ko Janiya Quiz” were announced. Also a PBD conference on Youth took place on 8th January.



8.      Government of India from time to time announces flagship initiatives for the Indian Diaspora population around the world. A few of them, just to recall, are:


a)           Overseas Citizenship of  Indiawas introduced by The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 in response to demands for dual citizenship by the Indian diaspora, particularly in developed countries. The OCI is a multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa to visit India; exempted from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India; and enjoying parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.


b) Madad Portal - All NRI/PIOs/Students may register themselves as MADAD user of the Madad Portal of Government of India, for any grievance related to consular services offered by Indian Missions/Posts abroad or any other kind of grievance needs to be attended.


c)   Know-India Programme for the Indian Origin Youth from 18-30 years of age who have never visited India before. All expenses except 10% of the air-fare are covered by the Government of India. The Diaspora Children who have participated in the Programme till now have benefitted from it.


d)    Bharat koJaniye Quiz is being organized every year by Government of India for NRIs & PIOs. The aim is to create awareness amongst the Indian Diaspora from the age 15 to 35 years, about India and to inspire them to contribute to the growth and development of the land of their roots;


e)   ADhaiAkhar Letter Writing Campaign is held for the Indian Diaspora with 02 categories upto 18 years and above 18 years by the India Post. The theme was ‘Letter to my Motherland’. The objective again was to provide a platform to the Indian Diaspora to connect with India and express their feelings in a free manner.



9.        I am reiterating some of the schemes of the Government of India today to emphasize how much the Government of India cares for its people abroad and would like them to always be in touch with their nation.


10.    It is important to mention here that our Embassy and the Consular Wing did not close even for a single day during the entire period of Covid and has facilitated repatriation of Stranded Indians/students from Caracas and the Dutch islands under the consular jurisdiction of the Embassy. Our Embassy was one of the first to manage repatriation flights from Curacao and Sint Maarten amongst the South American countries.


11.       Soon our Mission will be part of Global Passport Seva Project, an endeavour of the Government to create a common platform for all passport and consular services seeker.


12.    Government is also working towards creating a Mobile App for foreigners facilitation involving e-Visa, regular visa and visa on arrival.



13.    Last but not the least, on 30th December 2020 Government of India has launched Global Pravasi # Rishta Portal & Mobile App. ‘Rishta’ will act as a dynamic communication platform between our Pravasis& Ministry of External Affairs/Missions abroad and will help in engaging our diaspora.


14.    Before closing, I would like to assure all the members of the Indian diaspora community in Venezuela that you are always welcome in the Embassy of India, Caracas and it is indeed your “Home away from Home”.


Thank you all.