Gandhigar, January 6: Mahatma Mandir in Gandhigar, the convention venue in Gujarat’s capital, is all decked up to welcome the Indian diaspora, who are arriving in hundreds from countries across the world, for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), the annual bonding jamboree hosted by India for its tives abroad. The PBD is being held in Gandhigar on January 7–9 to mark the centery of the return to the country of India’s “sarva sreshtha pravasi Bharatiya” or foremost Indian diaspora member, Mahatma Gandhi, from South Africa, on that day “to change her destiny”. The chief guest of the 13th PBD would be Guya President Dold Ramotar, who is also to be presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians and people of Indian origin (PIOs). South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoa–Mashabane is also attending the PBD as part of the commemoratory events to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa 100 years ago. PBD is the world’s largest annual gathering of people of Indian origin aimed at enhancing networking and reinforcing commercial linkages. There are an estimated 25 million people of Indian origin residing outside India.
India is also the single largest recipient of remittances from abroad at $70 billion, The bridges on Sabarmati river and Riverfront in Ahmedabad and Mahatma Mandir in Gandhigar have been festooned with decorative electrical lighting and the twin cities spruced up to welcome the delegates. Around 3,000 Indian diaspora delegates are expected to attend, officials said. (IANS)