Mukherjee to address Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Kochi today

Kochi, Jan 9 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee will undertake a one day visit of Kochi today to deliver the valedictory address at the 11th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention.

He would also confer the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who inaugurated Pravasi Bhartiya Divas on Tuesday, said the relationship between Pravasis and Bharat has taken many forms.

"One of its most glorious manifestations has been their contribution to India's independence movement. Nearly a hundred years ago, almost to this day, Mahatma Gandhi returned to lead a nation's march to freedom. This year, the country is celebrating the centenary of the Gadar Movement, which was a luminous spark of support in distant California for the struggle for independence being waged at home in our country," said Dr. Singh.

"Apart from commemorating it by the issue of a special postage stamp, India will also upgrade the Gadar Memorial in San Francisco into a functional museum and library with a sculpture to honour the Gadar Babas, the heroes of this great national movement," he added.

Dr. Singh further said that overseas Indians have served as a bridge of friendship and cooperation between India and their adopted homes abroad.

"Regardless of whether they are successful professionals, traders and entrepreneurs, or second generation Indians, comfortably reconciling their two identities, or workers toiling hard to build a future for their families, they are at all times a most effective window for the world to India's heritage and its progress," he added.

The Prime Minister also released the postage stamp on Ghadar Movement. He also released the OIFC handbook 'India Support" and MOIA handbook on emigrants.

Mauritius President Rajkeshwur Purryag, who was the chief guest, said that India and Mauritius have traditional bilateral ties. There is a huge potential for bilateral trade and investment. He extended support for India's claim for the permanent seat in UN Security Council. (ANI)

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