Stage set for Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas – 2019, being held for the First time in Varanasi

• Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (Youth PBD) will mark the First Day : PBD 2019

• Nicely decorated and well lit Varanasi Ghats, a treat to watch

• Several events and Exhibitions on display at Varanasi Ghats on the opening day

The stage is all set for the beginning of 15th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) at Varanasi today, 21st January 2019. For the first time in the history of  Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas, the event is being held in Varanasi, the cultural and spiritual capital of India. Over the next three days from 21st to 23rd January , the city will be a witness to scores of sessions, seminal talks by experts and luminaries in their fields, cultural programmes and visit of the NRIs to renowned places of Kashi, Sarnath and Ganga Ghats among others. The theme for PBD 2019  is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India”. Several world leaders of Indian origin will share their insights into the role of Indian diaspora for a New India.

Major events include :

Youth PBD :  The opening day on 21st January will mark the Youth PBD with the focus on the generation next especially from Uttar Pradesh. The young diaspora will engage with its counterparts back home in India. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj along with UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath,  MoS sports and Youth affairs, Colonel Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore will share the dais with Member of Parliament from New Zealand Kanwal Jeet Singh Bakshi and MP from Norway Himanshu Gulati among others. 

Plenary :  PM  Narendra Modi  will inaugurate the PBD on 22nd January with  the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnath as the Chief Guest.  Several plenary sessions will be held on  issues ranging from challenges and opportunities to sustainable development , artificial intelligence and cyber capacity to name a few at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Trade Facilitation Centre-TFC, the main venue of PBD at Bada Lalpur of Varanasi.  PM Modi will also host a lunch for the Heads of states and over fifty selected Pravasi Bhartiya delegates and leaders. 

Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award : The Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award PSBA is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indian. It will be conferred by the President Ram Nath Kovind on 23rd January to selected NRIs, PIOs, organisation or institution established and run by the NRIs who have made significant contribution to various fields both in India and abroad.

Cultural Events : As the PBD is being organised at Varanasi, the cultural and spiritual capital of India, numerous cultural activities have been embedded in such a way that the delegates may get a very enticing, enriching and fulfilling experience. In the run up of the PBD, several exhibitions including a digital exhibition on the theme of ‘Ek Bharat Swacch Bharat : Sardar Patel and Gandhi ke Sapno ka Bharat, has been put up among others. These exhibitions are being organised at TFC Bada Lalpur, BHU and the Tent City.

The Ghats of Ganga have specially been decorated to welcome the guests with their divine attraction. The three day mega event  has changed the hue of Varanasi. The citizens have also started living and feeling the Pravasi Bhartiy Diwas with several hundred  guests residing in the homes of local residents of Kashi under Kashi Atithya Yojana.

PBD 2019 : Guests Start Arriving at Kashi

The NRI guests from all over the world have started arriving since 19th January to be the part of PBD 2019 at Varanasi. Upon arrival, they are being welcomed in traditional ways by kids of various schools at Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Babatpur. Most of those who reached Kashi had their first priority to make a darshan of Baba Vishwanath Temple. Many guests from Indonesia, Malasiya, Mauritius, USA, UK and other countries were seen spiritually mesmerized when they reached Kashi Nagari and specially when they reached to bow with obeisance before Baba Bholenath at world famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple. 

Vice chairman of Varanasi Development Authority- VDA Rajesh Kumar, the nodal officer looking after stay arrangements of PBD guests, told that contrary to the common perception, most of the guests who registered for PBD 2019 are from USA and not from Mauritius and other such countries where Indians had migrated centuries ago. He further apprised that there are three types of stay arrangements for the PBD guests. First is ‘Shri Baleshwar Agrawal Prawasi Nagar’ at Aidhey village popularly known as the ‘Tent City’ where 1480 guests are being accommodated. The  second is the blocked hotel rooms of Varanasi where  around  five  thousand  guests will get  standard accommodation  and the third is ‘ Kashi Atithya Yojna’ under which nearly 400 guests will reside with the citizens of Kashi in their homes. 

Authorities related with PBD Varanasi told that there are over 5800 NRI guests from over 125 countries who got them registered for PBD participation. Meanwhile, in order to make this event more indulging and enriching, MEA has created a special Twitter handle “# MyPBDMoment” and “#PravasiAtVaranasi”.  These are then shared on “#PBDConvention”, the official Twitter handle of MEA, for this mega event.

In the run up to PBD-2019, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting(i/c) Col.Rajyavardhan  Rathore will inaugurate an Exhibition titled “Ek Bharat: Swachha Aur Saksham Bharat- Bapu aur Patel ke Sapnon Ka Bharat,” at 7-30 PM on 20th January, Sunday at BHU Campus, opposite Science Hostel, Behind Shiv Mandir Varanasi.

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