"Last year was a challenging year. The work done by Indian diaspora across the world and the way they fulfilled their duties, it is a matter of pride for the country. Many Indians living abroad have also lost their lives to Covid. I express my condolences to their families," the Prime Minister said at 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention.
"In the past some months, I talked to several heads of states where they mentioned the work done by Pravasi Bharatiya (Non-Resident Indian) doctors, paramedics, and others. Temples, Gurudwaras and our tradition of langar, our social, cultural, and religious organisations have worked for everyone without discrimination. They (State heads) spent most of their time praising the work done by the Indian diaspora," the prime minister said.
"Your contribution to PM Cares Fund is being utilised to strengthen health infrastructure in the country. I extend gratitude to you for this," PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that Non-Resident Indians have strengthened their identity in other countries in the past years.
PBD convention is the flagship event of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and provides an important platform to engage and connect with overseas Indians, according to an official release.
In view of the sentiments of the vibrant diaspora community, the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention is being organised on January 9, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
President of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, is the chief guest of this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention.
The Convention is being held in a virtual format, as were the PBD Conferences held recently in the run-up to the Convention. The theme of the 16th PBD Convention 2021 is "Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat".
The winners of the online Bharat ko Janiye Quiz for the youth will also be announced during the event.