13th Pravasi Divas begins in Gujarat

years of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa”
– 13th Pravasi Divas begins in Gujarat

On January 9, 1915, Mahatma
Gandhi (Sarva Sreshtha Pravasi Bhartiya) returned to India from South Africa.
He subsequently led India to independence and dramatically transformed the
lives of millions of Indians.

The government of India has chosen
January 9 to celebrate Pravasi Divas, which has been organized by Ministry of
Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), from 7th-9th January every year since 2003. This
event marks the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the
development of India.

The 13th Pravasi Divas began at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar,
Gujarat today. This is the first time that the
event is being held in the state. The External
Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the event and urged the young Indian
diaspora to contribute to the initiatives and programs launched by the Government
of India.

theme of the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2015 is “100 years of Mahatma
Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa.”

President of Guyana, Donald Ramotar,
is the chief guest of the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya
Divas. The Guyanese President will also be presented the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya
Samman’, the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians and people of Indian
origin (PIOs).

The South African Foreign
Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will also attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which
commemorates the return of Bapu Mahatma Gandhi’s from South Africa 100 years ago.

Note: The 12th
Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was held at New Delhi in 2014. Datuk Seri G Palanival was
the Chief Guest at the 12th Parvasi Bharatiya Divas 2014.

Background – The idea of celebrating Pravasi Bharatiya Divas came from the L. M. Singhvi
Committee, a High Level Committee (HLC) on the Indian Diaspora which was set up
by the Govt. of India.  

After receiving the report of the
L. M. Singhvi Committee, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Bajpayee,
announced on January 8, 2002, that Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) would be
celebrated on January 9 from 2003.