Three Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) from the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday were among others who won the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA).
President of India Ram Nath Kovind conferred the award on Surender Singh Kandhari, Girish Pant, and Dr. Zulekha Daud and other awardees at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention or Indian Diaspora Conclave in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said the government decided to honor a total of 30 overseas Indians at this year’s PBD.
The long-term resident of Dubai, Kandhari, is better known as the chairman of the Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple, a philanthropist, and a businessman.
Pant, a social worker who has been active in saving the lives of several Indian sailors stranded in UAE waters, has also helped several other Indians in distress in coordination with the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
Dr. Zulekha, founder and chairperson of Zulekha Healthcare Group, is believed to be the first female practicing doctor in the country. Earlier this year, Dr. Zuleka was honored by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in acknowledgment of her five decades of beneficial contributions to the healthcare sector in the UAE and her tireless endeavors to boost welfare levels for UAE residents and citizens.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on January 22 inaugurated the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention.
Addressing the convention, the Prime Minister said non-resident Indians are brand ambassadors of India and they make India proud. He also said India is the fastest growing economy in the world and is in the position to lead the world in several subjects.
The theme of this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is 'Role of Indian diaspora in building new India.'
Organized since 2003, PBSA is the highest honor appreciating the contributions of NRIs, Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) or organizations or institutions established and run by the NRIs or PIOs in various fields.
For the first time, the three-day-long Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is being organized from January 21 to 23 instead of January 9. The change in agenda has been done for the reason that participants can visit the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj and attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.