|The 10th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the Indian Government’s big show to pull in the diaspora to India, had a good turnout in Jaipur. People of Indian ancestry and non-resident Indians turned up from 59 countries. There were more exhibitors this time at the PBD, and the OIFC (Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre) marketplace was bigger than before. The highlight was a grand speech (see page 12) by the chief guest at the PBD, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who was also honoured with a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the President of India. Jaipur’s hospitality was special, no doubt. Its brightly lit palaces and grand gardens, mix of evenings woven around classical music and Bollywood beats and the firecrackers erupting in the night skies, added value to the PBD proceedings. But there are areas where the Government can work on to make things more meaningful while it aggressively engages with the diaspora. In our cover story, we talk about areas that were handled well, and those that can be worked upon to bring in a more cohesive look to the event.
It was also at this event that a special publication on Reunion Island done by our magazine was launched by Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Mr Vayalar Ravi. Reunion has been sending delegates regularly to the PBD, but somehow because of linguistic difficulties (delegates are mostly Francophone), they never seemed to be adequately noticed in the sea of overseas Indians. The special publication has helped in two ways: it throws light on an island that is really not well known in India, and also brings it to the attention of business chambers, Government, and tour and travel industry and Media across the country. What added to the success of the delegation visit to the PBD was the signing of an MoU between the Reunion Chamber of Commerce (President of its chamber of commerce Mr Ibrahim Patel and the Vice President of Region Reunion Mr Serge Camatchy were signatories) and the OIFC (signed by Ms Sujata Sudarshan, CEO). India Empire is a Media Partner of the OIFC.
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