India confers Dharmic Sabha with prestigious Pravasi Samman Award

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The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha today received the prestigious Pravasi Samman Award from the Government of India in recognition of its outstanding contribution in the field of community service.

President of the Sabha, Dr. Vindhya Vasini Persaud, received the award from President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony in Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Sabha; Dr Persaud’s father, Pandit Reepu Daman, founded the organisation.

The citation on the award reads: “I, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, confer on you the Pravasi Samman Award, in acknowledgement of your outstanding achievement in the field of community service, and in recognition of your valuable contribution in promoting the honour and prestige of India and in the fostering the interests of Indian overseas.”

The award recognises the fact that the Sabha serves Guyana in the areas of religion, culture, arts, education, health and social services.

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is the highest honour conferred by the President of India as part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Conventions on a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) or organization or institution established and run by NRIs or PIOs, who have made significant contribution in several fields.

The awards were conferred at the valedictory session of this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) on the concluding day of the three-day diaspora conclave.

The awards were conferred in the fields of social, community and public service, business, business management, entrepreneurship, chartered accountancy, training and simulation, science, medical science, engineering, technology, architecture, academics, arts and diplomacy.

The Indian President called India a country of a billion ideas and billion opportunities.

He stated: “I invite each one of you to become a part of India’s growth story which is being etched by its billion minds. We want to leverage your technology, knowho¬w and investment to power our Make in India, Digital India, Clean India and Skill India programmes.”

He added: “We want to change the brain-drain of yesterday to brain-gain of today. I once again call upon you to contribute and partner us in the New India that we are committed to build and to become a part of India’s history in making.”

Norwegian Parliamentarian Himanshu Gulati spoke on behalf of the awardees. He said India is in the blood and heart of all NRIs.

A total of 7,228 registrations were done for this year’s PBD from over 90 countries, the biggest such event to be held.

The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas is usually held on January 9 to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India in 1915, but it was delayed this year so delegates could attend the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad; the mela is a mass gathering of Hindus to bathe in a holy river, in this case on the banks of the Sarasvati River

Awardees will also attend India’s Republic Day celebrations.

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