Bengaluru: From visiting the land of their grandparents to seeking business and educational opportunities, delegates to the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event in Bengaluru had many different reasons for attending the congregation aimed at non-resident Indians or NRIs. The convention started with a youth event on Saturday and will continue till Monday.
Although they certainly looked Indian, dressed in traditional costumes of Fiji and South Africa, a young group, said it was the first time these they were visiting the land of their ancestors.
Sanjay from Fiji said he was excited to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in person as he was a big fan. The PM Modi will be addressing the meet on Sunday morning.
Then there were those from countries where non-resident Indians or NRIs face separation from their children if they want them to pursue higher education. "After 12th, there are no opportunities for higher education in Saudi Arabia," said Abdussalaam Muhammed, who lives in Saudi Arabia said.
Mohammed Abdul Waris, of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, added, "Families have to make a choice to send our wife and children back to India or only our children. This is a big challenge for the Indian diaspora there. I hope the Indian government can speak to the government of Saudi Arabia so that our students can go to their institutions."
Delegates from UK meanwhile said they look to India for more than just business ties. UK lawmaker Virendra Kumar Sharma said, "I object to the idea that it is only (about) economic prosperity. It is a cultural, traditional - above all, bringing humanity together."