Lucknow: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said the number of registration for the 2019 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has gone up with the tally at 5,802 registrations, attributing it to shifting the dates to January 21, instead of January 9.
The Central government had last year announced that the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention will be organised between January 21 and 23, instead of January 9 — the day Mahatma Gandhi returned from South Africa to Mumbai — in reverence to the sentiments of the larger diaspora community to participate in Kumbh Mela and Republic Day celebrations.
“We can see the reflection of the excitement of people in the registration. Because of the two attractions (Kumbh Mela and Republic Day) this time, the number of registration has gone up by 2.5 to three times, with 5,802 registrations so far,” Swaraj told media during a joint briefing with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“Till now, the maximum number of people from a country used to be 50-60, now there are countries from where people are coming in a group of 400,” Swaraj said.
She said the aim of the government was to attract the new generation to the country and tell them about the culture.
The convention will be held at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. After the convention, participants would be given the opportunity to visit Prayagraj for Kumbh Mela on January 24 and witness the Republic Day Parade at New Delhi on January 26.
On January 21, the inauguration of the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) will be held in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
“Government of Uttar Pradesh will also organise the State PBD-2019 on January 21. On January 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention,” she said.
On January 23, the Valedictory Address will be delivered and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards will be conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind, she added.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention is the flagship event of the government and provides an important platform to engage and connect with the overseas diaspora. The theme of PBD 2019 is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India.”