Mukherjee urges diaspora to remain foremost emissaries of unfolding Indian story
Bengaluru, January 9, 2016
President Pranab Mukherjee today expressed the hope that the Indian diaspora spread across the world would remain foremost emissaries of the unfolding Indian story.
Delivering the valedictory address at the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) Convention, the President also gave away the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards.
As people exposed to the best of western technology and yet having their civilizational moorings in the ageless and eternal ethos of India, they are doubly blessed, he said.
The synergy of the west and the east that they represent provides them with a unique position and opportunity that involves sharing knowledge between their home land and their adopted countries, he said.
While they showcase India to their host countries, they also bring along the cultural heritage of their adopted lands to India. Mr Mukherjee said, to his mind, nothing could exemplify the belief of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam’ (the world is one family) more than this.
“As we continue to strive successfully in achieving our due and deserving place amongst the comity of nations, our ancient strengths in the realm of the sublime and the subtle should continue to remain in focus.
“Attention should be paid to the need for skill upgradation of temporary migrants going abroad in search of employment. Establishing linkages between the Government of India’s skilling programmes and the skill gap that exists amongst the migrant workforce will go a long way in enhancing their employability as well as earnings,” he added.
Referring to temporary migrants in the Gulf region and South East Asia for employment as low-skilled and semi-skilled labour, he noted that their remittances are the largest by any diaspora, at 12% of the total global remittances, amounting to $69 billion in 2015.
“Many of them are likely to return to India, but while they live abroad, all of them are vulnerable in many ways owing to the fact that they do not enjoy the privileges of citizenship in their host country.
“This is especially true of people working in areas of strife and conflict, with their security and physical well being on the line. In this regard, it is with satisfaction that I note the role played by their mother country in assuaging their concerns.
“In swift and coordinated operations involving multiple Ministries and organizations, we have been able to bring back thousands of fellow countrymen from strife-torn nations,” the President said.
He congratulated External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh for the initiatives.
The President also flagged the concerns of women and girls in India marrying into NRI families. He said even as the government and its agencies deal with this issue, the concerns of this particular section can be most effectively addressed by the local community organisations.
He called upon Indian Community Organisations abroad to continue to complement the government’s efforts in this regard.