President Kovind calls Indian diaspora in Greece ‘cultural ambassadors’

Greece: President Ram Nath Kovind, while addressing the Indian diaspora residing in Greece on Sunday, called them the “cultural ambassadors of the country.”

President Kovind said that the Indian Diaspora played a greater role in strengthening economic and cultural relations between the two countries.

“We have an ambassador in Greece. But you are India’s cultural ambassador. You play a greater role in establishing relations with India, to strengthen economic relations with India,” he said.

He underlined a range of facilities launched by the Indian government for the benefit of the non-resident Indians, including the introduction of Overseas Citizens of India or Persons of Indian Origin cards for them, adding that a “large number of people must avail its services.”

President Kovind then talked about facilities given to the NRIs, saying, “We have launched a 24-hour helpline in the embassies for the diaspora.”

The President further said, “Social media has been utilised to reach out to people. Today, you all have gained the faith you might be in any problem in any part of the world will be given our support.”

He then highlighted India’s initiatives to help evacuate the people stuck in accidents or national calamities, including the Yemeni crisis. He talked about various other initiatives including resource centres, and ‘Know India Programme.’

“We have inaugurated Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra which acts as a resource center for diaspora whenever they visit India. We have now opened Know India program for you (Indian Diaspora) to gain more information about our country,” President Kovind added.

He invited the audience to attend the 2019 Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas, scheduled to be held in Varanasi, and the Republic Day parade.

Talking about his scheduled meetings during the visit, President Kovind said that he would call on his Greece counterpart and Prime Minister. They would discuss bilateral issues including “economy, politics, culture, and people-to-people relations.”

On Monday, a business-level meeting would be held in his presence, where they would discuss infrastructure, energy, and supply chain.

“Greece has worked in fields of processing, shipping, food, and tech, in India which has created employment opportunities in the country,” President Kovind added.

He further highlighted the major developments undertaken by India as it became the world’s fastest-growing economy, and the third largest market, while the World Economic Forum 2017 declared the Indian economy as the third most trusted in the world.

President Kovind mentioned the Goods and Services tax, and Mudra scheme, aimed at banking the unbanked, and digitisation.

He also mentioned the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative by India to highlight the importance of solar energy. The ISA’s founding conference was held in March in New Delhi.