More than 300 people attended the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) or Non-Resident Indians’ Day 2019 event organised by the Indian embassy, in association with the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC), recently.
The participants included previous years PBD delegates from Qatar, community leaders, members of various affiliated organisations and a cross section of community members.
The event, held at the ICC premises, featured videos on PBD and the participation of Indian diaspora during the annual celebration which marks the contribution of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India. The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India on January 9, 1915.
A view of the gathering
The event started with the lighting of the lamp by ambassador P Kumaran, along with community leaders. The envoy, who was the chief guest, reiterated the importance and historical relevance of PBD. He encouraged the Indian community in Qatar to take active part in PBD 2019 planned from January 21-23 at Varanasi in the Uttar Pradesh state.
A video clipping of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite song “Vaishnav Jan Te” rendered by Qatar-based singer Ahmed Abdulrahim was screened. Ambassador Kumaran presented the singer with a plaque of appreciation. The rendition of the bhajan is a part of ongoing celebrations to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
During the event, the winners of the first round of ‘Bharat ko Janiye’ Quiz from Qatar were felicitated with medals by the ambassador. Rohit Birla won the gold, Marilyn Rego (Class 10 student of DPS-MIS) the silver and Princy Joseph Solomon the bronze. The contest, recently held online by the Ministry of External Affairs of India, aims to motivate overseas Indian youth to develop an interest in knowing and understanding India.
During the PBD celebrations, a promotional video of Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019 was also launched. This will be uploaded to the embassy’s social media handles in the next few days.
ICC’s acting president A P Manikantan welcomed the gathering, finance head Girish Jain proposed a vote of thanks and general secretary Juttas Paul conducted the programme.