Large participation expected at PBD convention: Goel

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The Pravasi Bhartaiya Diwas (PBD) Convention to be held in Sydney from 10-12 November will see a large number of delegates coming in from various parts of the world. The preparations are full swing, says Arun Kumar Goel, Consul General of India Sydney, as he talks to Shveata Chandel Singh about his plans.

Why has the Indian government decided to organise the event in Sydney?

When we think of Australia – we will automatically think of Sydney first, as it is one of the most well-known cultural and tourism destinations in Australia. It is also centrally located. Even New South Wales has a large, vibrant Indian origin population, which we hope will render all the support we need to make this event a big success.

Can you tell us a little about PBD?

As you know, the PBD Convention has been taking place every year in India since 2003. Regional conventions have been taking place since 2007 and this would be the seventh such convention.

Previously, Regional conventions have been held in New York (2007), Singapore (2008), The Hague (2009), Durban (2010), Toronto (2011) and Mauritius (2012).

The objective of the event is to reach out to members of the community who have been unable to participate in the annual PBD in India, and to provide a platform for the Indian community in Australia and the Pacific to contribute to the relationship between countries of the region and India.

What is the theme of the event?

The theme of the event is “Connecting for a Shared Future – the Indian Diaspora, India and the Pacific”.

Which ministers will be attending from India?

We are expecting a huge participation, but the programme is still being finalised.

However, we are expecting participation of the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, as also some other Ministers of the Central Government, a delegation from the Confederation of Indian Industry, and Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre. Some State Governments from India have also shown interest.

The event will be useful for the overseas Indian community, as also people who have business interests in India, or are interested in Indian culture.

What sort of arrangements has been planned for the event?

Various suggestions are being examined and the programme details are being worked out. These will shortly be available on the PBD website.

Is there any discount for early birds etc?

Conference charges are being worked out, but there will definitely be early bird discounts.

What are your expectations from the Sydney Indian community?

We hope that the Indian community will participate in the event in every possible way, through physical participation, through disseminating the information to all concerned, through sponsorships and, above all, showcasing the strength of the Indian community in New South Wales.

Which other countries are participating in the event?

We are expecting a large participation of NRIs from other countries as well. We are expecting participation from New Zealand, Fiji, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries of the Pacific region.

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