The nation commemorated the father of the nation’s birth anniversary on the 2nd of Oct. The Government of India declaring January 09 as ” Pravasi Bhartiya Divas( Overseas Indians Day) is yet another initiative of the Government of India to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi as well as the Indians living overseas and serving India in different ways.
Pravasi Bhartiya Divas:
09 January was declared as NRI( Overseas Indians) in 2003. The day was chosen as Pravasi Bhartiya Divas because MK Gandhi returned from South Africa on 09 January 1915 and started serving India ever since.
Amongst many others this was the first of the initiatives commenced for the Indians living overseas by the government of India.
- This year Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was celebrated in Indore Madhya Pradesh. The theme of the 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was ” Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal”.
- A Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is also presented every year by the same institute. Awardees are awarded the award by the honourable president of India.
Under the Umbrella of the NRI benevolent campaign, several initiatives for Indians residing overseas.
The overseas Indian Citizenship scheme:
Considering the amendments required in the Citizenship Act 1955, the OCI ( Overseas Indian Citizenship) scheme was formally brought into effect in January 2006. The scheme facilitated overseas Indians with lifelong visa-free travel to India along with several other cultural, economic and educational opportunities for persons of Indian origin. Almost a million PIOs( persons of Indian origin) have benefitted from this initiative of the government of India.
Prime minister’s Global Advisory Council of Overseas Indians:
The first Council of Overseas Indians was held in January 2011. The then Prime Minister of the subcontinent presided over this conference. The objective was to welcome suggestions in the field of education, health and cultural development in a broader aspect. A total of 14 prominent overseas Indians from the field of their expertise came forward and shared their vibrant experiences on the forum.
Trace Your Roots
A progeny residing overseas for generations might not be very confident of their whereabouts in India. Thus Government of India programmed a website that helps you trace your roots back here in India.
The link to the said programme is given below: moia.gov.in/services.aspx
**PBBY( Pravasi Bhartiya Bima Yojana)**
Launched in the raw stage early in 2003, later upgraded consecutively in 2006 & 2008 respectively. PBBY is a compulsory insurance scheme for Indians employed overseas. With a minimal biennial charge, PBBY insures a sum of 10 lakh INR on death and hospitalization up to 75000/- INR.
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Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children ( SPDC)
Having launched in the year 2006, this scholarship programme is an initiative to provide a total of 100 scholarships each academic year to diaspora children of Indian origin living overseas across 40 countries. The scheme aims to provide financial aid of USD 4000 per annum to the selected overseas Indian students of liberal Arts, Engineering, Management, Journalism, Agriculture, Animal husbandry etc. The applications received from the students are shortlisted based on their eligibility by a board consisting of members from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Human Resources Development EdCIL etc.
Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana
MGPSY( Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana) is a scheme that revolves around unskilled or semi-skilled Indians who dream of working Overseas. It helps them with the immigration clearance required to go to ECR countries. It also contributes to the safe return of the insured overseas Indian.
Indian Community Welfare Fund:
ICWF is a framework set up by the government of India for the protection and welfare of temporary migrant workers who are mainly residing in the Gulf.
Over the years ICWF has monitored and helped the distressed Indians overseas in their boarding and lodging, especially those in domestic labours and other unskilled labourers. In numerous cases, initial legal aid is also provided to the ones stuck in judicial cases overseas. Another imperative service provided under the ICWF scheme is they come forward in airlifting the mortal remains of those who met with an accident overseas. The cremation, and burial of the same have also been aided by this Fund often.
Apart from the above several other insurance and online services are also provided to the Indians overseas by the government of India.