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Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas 2020: History And Significance Of This Day

Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) is observed on 9 January every year to respect and highlight the achievements and contributions of Indian Diaspora in the development of India. This year, 9 January 2020 will mark the 16th edition of this event.

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The reason behind choosing 9 January for celebrating PBD is to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India to 9 January 1915. Gandhi, fondly known as Bapu is considered to be among the most prominent Pravasi who made a significant contribution to the freedom struggle of India.

History Of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

It was in the year 2003 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister of India was approached by a proposal of observing Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas from the High-Level Committee (HLC). The proposal was sent to Atal Bihari Vajpayee under the Chairmanship of Laxmi Mall Singhvi, the then member of Rajya Sabha and diplomat.

Hence, the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas came into existence in 2003 and is currently sponsored by the Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, the Confederation of Indian Industries, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.

Since then every year 9 January is observed as the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas. It was in 2006 when the concept of Overseas Citizen of Indian Community (OCI) was launched at the celebration of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas in Hyderabad.

Significance Of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

  • The celebration provides a platform for the overseas Indian community to interact with the people living in their homeland and the government of India regarding the development activities.
  • Every year the celebration has a different theme to create public awareness. For the 15th PDB which was held in 2019, the theme was 'Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India'.
  • The celebration is massive as Indian Diaspora across the world come together to be a part of this event. Apart from this, Indian citizens too participate in this event.
  • During this event, several people with exceptional and outstanding merit are honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award. Also, their contribution towards the significant growth of India is acknowledged by the Government of India.
  • There is also a discussion forum where domestic people can interact with the Indian Diaspora and look for ways to ensure significant growth of the country.

Also read: 10 Interesting Facts About January That Will Surely Take You By Surprise

This year we will be celebrating the 16th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas. We hope this year too the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas will be having some informative and effective theme for inspiring people and honouring the Overseas Indian Community.

Story first published: Thursday, January 9, 2020, 8:00 [IST]
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