Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday described Pravasi Bhartiyas as the "brand ambassadors" of India on foreign soil and said they have a significant place in the journey of the country as it enters the 'Amrit kaal' of the next 25 years.
He was speaking after inaugurating the 17th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention in Madhya Pradesh's Indore city.
"I consider Pravasi Bharatiyas as brand ambassadors of India on foreign soil. Your role is diverse. You are the brand ambassador for yoga, Ayurveda, cottage industry, handicrafts and also millets," Modi said.
"The GenNext Pravasis are also curious to know about the country of their parents' origin," he said.
The PM asked universities in India to document contributions made by the diaspora in their respective nations for the benefit of students.
Modi also said Madhya Pradesh has a number of natural sites, including the Narmada river, and the recently developed Mahakal Lok at the famous Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain, and urged the diaspora to visit them.
Lavishing praise on Indore, which is hosting the 17th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention, Modi said, "Indore is ahead of its time not only in cleanliness but also takes care of its heritage. The delicacies of Indore are mouth-watering and the people who taste them once will never turn to anything else."
President of the Republic of Suriname Chandrikapersad Santokhi, who was the special guest of honour at the event, said India has proven to be a reliable partner on regional and global platforms.
"Suriname has sought partnership (with India) in various fields including health, financial sectors and strengthening cultural ties by setting up institutes for Hindi language promotion in the Caribbean country," he said.
Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who was the chief guest at the event, in his address said, "When globalisation failed during the pandemic, Modi showed that it exists."
He recalled India's help in providing COVID-19 vaccines and medicines to various countries and termed India as an important strategic partner.
He said there are massive opportunities for India's private sector in Guyana.
He also termed Guyana's economy as one of the fastest growing in the world.
"I visited this country earlier and studied here before becoming the president (of Guyana) and felt the love of Indian people," he added.