Gandhinagar, Jan 7: The inaugural session of the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas began on Wednesday with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lighting the ceremonial lamp. More than 4,000 delegates have arrived for the 13th PBD, the world’s largest annual gathering of people of Indian origin, aimed at enhancing networking and reinforcing commercial linkages.
There are 25 million people of Indian origin residing outside India. The three-day diaspora conclave is being held at the Mahatma Mandir complex in Gandhinagar Jan 7-9 to mark the centenary of India’s “sarva sreshtha pravasi Bharatiya” or foremost Indian diaspora member, Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa to India.
Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, 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 natives abroad.Around 3,000 Indian diaspora delegates are expected to attend. The Mahatma Mandir is a sprawling complex spread across 60,000 sq mt.