Diaspora dynamic representatives of India’s soft power in Ghana, says Mukherjee

Accra (Ghana): Stating that the 10,000 strong Indian community in Ghana is a vibrant amalgam of individuals from different walks of life, be they professionals, academics, businessmen, women, entrepreneurs, bankers, doctors and students etc., President Pranab Mukherjee, attending a community reception here late last evening, said each one of them had a story to tell that served as an inspiration and motivation to others to achieve.

He said that the people of Ghana can see a microcosm of Indian diversity and plurality, and added that they, like the rest of the 25 million strong Indian Diaspora across the world, had one thing in common- “A sense of bonding with the idea that is India”.

“It is this sentiment that has motivated you to be present here (at the community reception),” he added.

President Mukherjee said that in the nearly seven decades since India had gained independence from its British colonial rulers, it had emerged as a confident nation; a vibrant democracy, an economic giant and a factor of stability, peace and security in an increasingly volatile world.

He added that “at the multilateral level, it is now a voice that is respected and seen as a “bridge between the developed and developing world, and as a confluence of civilizations.”

Referring to the significant role played by the Indian Diaspora in facilitating over USD 70 billion worth of trade and USD 35 billion with Africa, President Mukherjee called out the names of three non-resident Indian couples – Mr. and Mrs. Cheema; Mr. and Mrs. Mohinanis and the Khubchandanis – to highlight Indian tenacity and entrepreneurship in the face of tremendous odds.. He said that all three deserved the Government of India and the Indian Diaspora’s commendation and compliments.

Recalling the giant strides made in bilateral trade ties between India and Ghana, the president said this would not have been possible without the dynamic role of the Indian Diaspora.

“Members of the Indian Diaspora have become dynamic representatives of India’s soft power. India is a peace-loving nation.. The Indian Diaspora, everywhere in the world, is highly regarded for its peaceful and law abiding ways.. I would like to particularly recognize the contribution of the Indian Diaspora in Ghana towards expanding the cultural affinities between India and Ghana,” he said.

He said, “I call upon you to actively take part in various programmes the Government of India has embarked upon such as Digital India, Stand-Up India, Start-Up India, Smart Cities and Swachch Bharat etc.”

Describing Ghana as a great and trusted friend of India, he said, ” The bonds between our two countries are rooted in history and the goodwill between the two peoples. Ghana has always displayed great solidarity with India in various multilateral fora, and I would call upon you to reciprocate this wonderful spirit of friendship by further contributing to its prosperity and to the well being of its people.”

Earlier, the community reception commenced with a short recap of the achievements of the president over the last nearly five decades. It was followed by a warm welcome of the Indian Head of State, the playing of the national anthem, an introductory address by Indian High Commissioner K. Jeeva Sagar.

The event concluded with a buffet dinner for the guests. (ANI)