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Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas 2019 celebrations in Ottawa

Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas 2019 celebrations in Ottawa

High Commission of India in Ottawa, in partnership with Indo-Canadian Community Centre (ICCC), Ottawa organized a grand function to mark the celebrations of the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas on 9 January, 2019. The event was well attended with over 160 guests from the diaspora. Representatives of more than 25 Indian Community Associations were present on the occasion. Shri Anil Sukhija, Chairperson of Seniors programme of ICCC, conducted the proceedings.

High Commissioner, Mr. Vikas Swarup addressed the gathering and highlighted the three Cs (Connect, Celebrate and Contribute) which the PBD represents. He congratulated the strong Indian-Diaspora of 1.6 million in Canada for their contribution to India-Canada ties. He elaborated that Indian Diaspora which is about 31 million the world over is a source of remittances of a huge amount of US$80 billion annually and helps in accelerating technological development, transferring of knowledge and fostering innovations in India because of skills acquired by the Diaspora internationally. He called Diaspora as India's unofficial Ambassadors just as Mahatma Gandhi was Ambassador of Peace, truth and non-violence during his time. He lauded the Pravasis for being most significant example of India's soft power through their work abroad as software engineers, academics, tech-wizards, poets etc. He complimented the Diaspora for their honest work ethics, law abiding & hard working nature which has contributed to the global image of India. He complimented them for retaining a bit of India in their hearts and keeping the spirit of Bharat alive.

High Commissioner further exhorted the Diaspora to connect with their motherland through various initiatives of GoI like Know India Programme, Bharat Ko Janiye Quiz, e-visa facility etc; to celebrate the culture, heritage and accomplishments of modern India and invited them to visit the state of the art Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra (PBK) in New Delhi during their next visit to India; to contribute to development of India through various schemes of GoI like SPARC, Vajra, GIAN, Clean Ganga Project, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan etc. He closed his remarks by inviting the Diaspora to keep the dialogue between High Commission and them as a 2-way dialogue to enable the Mission to listen to the suggestions for improvement in various areas.

A unique aspect of the event was a detailed power-point presentation by Counsellor (Cons) on various schemes available for the Indo-Canadian community and other consular issues of interest. It addressed various queries/doubts regarding the types of visas, Aadhaar Card, facilities available to OCI card-holders, etc. The diaspora was informed about the 24-hour emergency number that can be used to reach the consular officer at any time and also the facility available for emergency visas. He also gave detailed information through audio/Video on15th Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas 2019, ICWF scheme, Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children. The session was very informative and well appreciated by the members of the community. It was followed by a question and answer session, chaired by Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Arun Kumar Sahu.

Gandhiji's favourite bhajan 'Vishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye' recorded by the Mission in the voice of Canadian singer Adam Duncan was played. The High Commissioner presented an appreciation letter for Mr. Duncan from EAM to Mr. Samuel Thomas on behalf of the singer as he was not able to attend the event. This was followed by singing of patriotic songs and poems and a classical dance performance.

Deputy High Commissioner in his closing remarks urged all Indian Associations to work closely in unity for promoting culture and values of India.

The celebration of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Ottawa served to underscore once again the close bond nurtured by the Government of India with the Indian diaspora and helped the members of the community in the Ottawa region to get better acquainted with the policies and programmes of the Indian Government.

Ottawa

10.01.2019

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High Commissioner addressing the gathering at PBD 2019 celebrations in Ottawa

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Appreciation letter from EAM for Bhajan Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye being presented by the HC

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Counsellor(Cons) giving power point presentation about GOI schemes and consular matters

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Q&A session chaired by Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Arun Kumar Sahu

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Patriotic Poem by Dr. Jagmohan Humar

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Glimpses of Cultural programme

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Mr. Arun Kumar Sahu, DHC giving his closing remarks

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Vote of thanks by Mr. Ken Talwar, President, ICCC