Indore: Indian President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday conferred the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards upon 27 overseas Indians during the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention.
The awards are given to Non-Resident Indians in recognition of their outstanding achievements both in India and abroad.
Speaking to ANI, the awardees expressed their contentment and gratification over receiving the prestigious awards and said that the Indian diaspora is giving examples of shining in foreign lands that they moved to with India in their hearts.
"This award has been amazing. First of all coming home, coming to India and my family, it is already humbling, and then to receive an award from the President herself has been a truly magical moment and a very big honour in my life," said Archana Sharma from Switzerland who received the awards in the field of Science and Technology.
"The Indian diaspora is shining diamonds in Switzerland because in Switzerland we have a very - very highly skilled and highly educated Indian diaspora and they are actually dotting very key positions. For example, in the United Nations, the WHO, and in all these kinds of international organizations in multinationals, and in the business community as well. So, we have a sterling diaspora in Switzerland and they are all very connected with India", added the awardee.
Thanking the Government of India for this honour, Reena Vinod Pushkarna from Israel who got the award in the field of business and community welfare said that she was delighted that the government did not forget them even when they leave their Motherland and go to other places.
"Very honoured, extremely touched. My parents up in heaven must be very happy today. It started with food, led to culture then led to diplomacy. Now, there are so many exchange programs, between the citizens of India and Israel, and it all started with just two simple people so I thank the government of India for not forgetting its people and this is what PBD stands for, that they don't forget their Indians even when they leave their Motherland and go to other places to carry on our journeys but with India in their hearts", said Reena.
Another awardee from Canada said that he was honoured to receive the award from his Matribhoomi and he will continue to serve both in Canada and India.
"It is a privilege that I got this award from Bharat Mata our Mataribhumi and I will continue to offer our services I am blessed to be able to continue my service, for contributing to the field of education, health care, and clean technology, and continue to serve both Canada and India", said Vaikuntam Iyer Lakshmanan.
Getting the award for community welfare from Sri Lanka, Sivakumar Nadesan said that we can do better with the quality of life, improve it and make larger jobs and skills.
"I got the award for community welfare. They have also mentioned that I have done media. So, I think that it is the combination of both. But especially on the community welfare side, we are talking about the Indian origin people who went there four generations ago and they have planted tea, worked on the bridges, worked on the roads and actually done lot of development for Sri Lanka during their lifetime. But I think we can do better with the quality of life, improve it and kind of make them more free to make a larger jobs and skills and housing", he said.
The 17th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention was held at Indore in Madhya Pradesh, India. The recipients were chosen by a jury-cum-awards committee chaired by the vice-president with the Indian External affairs minister S Jaishankar as the vice-chair of the panel, whose other members are drawn from various walks of life.
Addressing the gathering, the Indian President said that the Indian Diaspora today has become an important and unique force in the global system. It has grown into an energetic and confident community in every region and is making stellar contributions to world affairs in leadership positions.
Referring the theme of this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention - "Diaspora: Reliable Partners for India's Progress in Amrit Kaal", the Indian President said that it reflects India's desire to make its Diaspora a partner in the achievement of its national developmental goals.
In the next 25 years, India is going to embark on an ambitious journey of collective hard work, sacrifice, and intensive development to transform into a self-reliant world leader by 2047, when we would be celebrating the centenary of our independence, she said.