GOPIO thanks the Government of India for the inaugural of the Diaspora Cultural Centre (Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra) in New Delhi.
Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi and dedicated it to the Indian Diaspora in conjunction with Gandhi Jayanti on 2 October 2016.
The historic event was witnessed via live webcast, by Malaysian PIOs and GOPIO senior members. The event was hosted by the Deputy High Commissioner of India at the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
The Centre is also a premier Convention Centre for showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Indian Diaspora from different parts of the world. The Kendra (centre) is equipped to host a wide range of activities such as meetings, seminars, exhibitions and cultural events to facilitate exchange of ideas between the PIOs and India.
The Centre have a well-stocked library with books, journals and audio visual material documenting the historical emigration of Indian community to foreign shores and the contemporary linkages of the Indian Diaspora with India. The Centre also welcomes writings by prominent authors from the Indian Diaspora.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi said that the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was an apt occasion for launching the Diaspora Centre in India. He said Mahatma Gandhi had left India, but the call of the nation brought him back to India. He said the Indian diaspora should be looked at, not just in terms of its numbers, but also in terms of its social and economic strength.
Prime Minister Modi said that at a time when the world is keen to engage with India, the “fear of the unknown” can be the biggest obstacle, which the Indian diaspora can help overcome. Further, that the Ministry of External Affairs, has done significant humanitarian work in the last two years around the world.
Emphasizing the importance of connecting with the diaspora, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had inducted the concept of the Diaspora Cultural Centre, along with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. GOPIO has lobbied for the concept and implementation of the Diaspora Cultural Centre in New Delhi since 2001.
The Diaspora Centre is expected to develop into a hub of activities for mutually rewarding economic, social and cultural engagement between India and the PIO Diaspora.
GOPIO Cultural Committee