The next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the 15th edition, Jan 2019, is slated for the holy city of Varanasi. The exact location has not been identified. A huge convention hall is expected to be constructed for the event. This writer attended most PBDs that began in 2003; the PBD was an idea of the Indo-Caribbean diaspora that was discussed with then opposition leader Atal Behari Vajpayee in a New York City meeting at a restaurant in 1996. Ramesh kalicharran, Dharamdatt Sukhai Durjan, and this writer (Vishnu Bisram) were present at the meeting that included Dr. Mukund Modi and others. Durjan raised the issue with Vajpayee and ably supported by this writer.
The PBD allows Indians from around the globe to interact and to raise issues affecting them with the government for assistance.
The PBD will be held to coincide with the popular Kumbh Mela so as to allow the diaspora to participate in Kumbha Snan. The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention is being organized by Ministry of External Affairs in association with the State Government of Uttar Pradesh in January, 2019. The central government stated that “in reverence to the sentiments of the larger diaspora community to participate in Kumbh Snan and their desire to witness the Republic Day Parade, the 15th PBD Convention, 2019 will be held from January 21 – 23, 2019 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh”.
Whereas previous PBDs were held on January 7 thru 9, this year's will be on January 21, 22, 23, & 24. The central government announced that it is being planned win cooperation with the state government of Uttar Pradesh. The central government stated, "Pravasi Bhartiy Diwas will be organised in the holy city of Varanasi”. After the three days PBD, on January 24, delegates will be transported on train to Allahabad for the Kumbh Mela. And on 25, they will be transported to Delhi to experience the Republic Day celebration (January 26).
For the preparation, UP NRI Minister, Swati Singh, held a meeting with Varanasi officials on Tuesday May 15 and gave the instructions for the program. For PBD accommodation, more than 3000 rooms are allotted in these categories: 5 star, 4 star and 3 star. Some rooms are also below 3 star. The government is trying to reserve as many rooms as possible to accommodate the more than 10,000 delegates.
The theme of the 15th PBD Convention is: Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India.
the PBD Convention, 2019 will be held as per following tentative schedule : January 21 Youth PBD : Special Guest from Norway (Shri Himanshu Gulati) and Guests of Honour from New Zealand (Shri Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi) and US Congresswoman (Tulsi Gabbard).
January 22, inauguration of PBD Convention by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India with Chief Guest, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Mauritius.
January 23, valedictory keynote address and conferment of PBSAs by Hon’ble President of India. January 24.01.2019 (morning) Departure for Allahabad for Kumbh Snan.
January 25.01.2019, return to New Delhi by special train 26.01.2019 Participation in the Republic Day celebration.
Both the state and central governments invite the People of Indian Origin globally to participate in the PBD Convention 2019. PBD is a fantastic event. The Indo-Caribbean people are urged to attend. Please visit the website and register. (www.pbdindia.gov.in/howregister).
* Dr. Bisram attended most PBDs as a representative of the Indo-Caribbean diaspora raising issues affecting the community.