Inaugurating the 13th Pravasi Bhartiya Sammelan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the Indian diaspora a great capital for the country which needs to be nurtured as he sought its cooperation in transforming India
Reaching out to the expatriates, he recalled how once adversity, courage and the urge to explore better avenues for livelihood motivated Indians to leave the country, adding that today the country had "risen with great strength" offering "great opportunities".
"There used to be a time when you left your beloved country to explore opportunities in different parts of the world...Now I want to assure you that lot many possibilities are awaiting you as time is changing rapidly and India has risen with new strength," Modi told around 4,000 delegates at the event.
"My conviction is that he Indian diaspora is a great capital for us in the global context. The more we nurture it, the more strong will be our presence globally," Modi said after formally inaugurating the 13th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas at Mahatma Mandir which marked the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's return to the country from South Africa.
The Prime Minister said the world was eager to engage with India with "love".
"After taking up my new responsibility, I have had the opportunity to meet the heads of state of over 50 countries. We spoke with an open heart. I feel the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich nations are looking up to India. Such occasions are rare.
"A measure of love the world has for India was reflected when the United Nations accepted my proposal to observe the World Yoga Day. 177 of the 193-member UN co-sponsored that resolution, over 40 of them Islamic nations, and it was passed in just 100 days, a record of sorts when such resolutions normally take two years to pass," Modi said.
The Prime Minister said the love being shown by the world was not because of the affluence of the Indian diaspora in the countries they have adopted but because of their "value system and cultural inheritance". He, however, said it was a challenge to prove equal to the expectations the global community has from India.
"Now it is our responsibility to prove equal to the expectations of the world with confidence which Mahatma Gandhi showed even while sweeping the streets, popularising Khadi and doing other services to the nation as he led the freedom movement," Modi said.