Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2004 is being jointly organised by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) from January 9-11. The three-day event will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and followed by the presentation of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards 2004.
According to JC Sharma, secretary, MEA, The PBD is an invaluable forum to get invaluable inputs on a number of issues and the session on Gulf NRIs has been constituted with the vision of forging a constructive relationship between them and India. Several difficulties faced by Gulf NRIs came to light last year and it is essential that they be addressed. Millions of Indian workers are striving to make a living in the Gulf and it becomes our duty to support them and help sort out the issues by attempting to resolve their grievances.
There are over 3 million Indians, mostly blue-collared workers, based in the Gulf region.
The majority of Indians in the Gulf are overseas contract employees sans any job security. This was the outcome of a poll conducted recently. The poll also concluded that majority of them are poor people, without any savings and uncertain livelihood options in India. The long pending insurance scheme and welfare fund for undergraduate Indian workers going abroad for work will very soon come into effect.
Mr Vajpayee had announced these schemes during the first Pravasi Divas and their formalisation is a concrete step towards enhancing Diaspora relations.