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PBD 2015: Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards conferred on 15 overseas Indians
On the last day (January 09) of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, Vice President of India, M Hamid Ansari, felicitated 15 overseas Indian with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards at the Valedictory Session at the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

Speaking on the occasion, Ansari said, "This year is a special one. It coincides with the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's return to India from South Africa, following which he took on the mantle of leadership of perhaps greatest non-violent struggle for independence against the colonial yoke. Gandhi ji was also, unquestionably, the greatest Pravasi Bharatiya of all."

He said, "Relationships, even emotional ones, are not a one-way street. The Overseas Indians have expectations aimed at facilitating and intensifying their involvement with India. The Government of India, and the State Governments, have acknowledged the validity of these sentiments and taken or initiated steps to attract, assist and promote a deeper and multifaceted relationship, which is mutually beneficial and long lasting. We in India attach highest importance to issues of interest and concern to the overseas Indians."

The Vice President stated, "India today is on the cusp of change, in the process of actualizing the expectations of its vast population for a better life. India aspires for a better place in the comity of nations. Both of these require rapid economic development, accompanied by better educational, health and social parameters. This requires a massive collective effort by all segments of our population. The governments at central and state levels need to provide visionary leadership and are determined to do so."

The recipients of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards are Mala Mehta, Australia; Donald Rabindernauth Ramotar, Guyana; Dr. Rajaram Sanjaya, Mexico; Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, New Zealand; Rajmal Parakh, Oman; Duraikannu Karunakaran, Seychelles; Essop Goolam Pahad, South Africa; Shah Bharatkumar Jayantilal, UAE; Ashraf Palarakunnummal, UAE; Mahendra Nanji Mehta, Uganda; Prof. Nathu Ram Puri; Lord Raj Loomba, Britain; Satyanarayana Nadella; Dr. Lulla Kamlesh, US and Dr. Nandini Tandon, USA.

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