PBD sessions call for greater diaspora role in India’’s social development

January 9th, 2009 - 3:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Anbumani Ramadoss

Chennai, Jan 9 (ANI): Continuing on its objective to deepen engagement with the Indian diaspora, three concurrent sessions at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2009 addressed opportunities presented for participating in social development in India.
The PBD convention is being held here from January 7-9 by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with the Government of Tamilnadu and the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Health and education have emerged as the key social sector areas for increasing diaspora engagement in India.
The concurrent session on healthcare for all took stock of the achievements made and the new directions that should be taken to increase disapora interaction in the medical field.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss briefed the delegates on the progress of the Indian health sector, particularly the achievements of the National Rural Health Mission.
As 75 per cent of the population lives in rural India with only 25 per cent of medical facility, Ramadoss urged the Indian diaspora to invest in medical equipment, medical education for nurses and paramedics, and research in healthcare.
Today, in spite of the recession, Ramadoss said, “Indian doctors abroad are returning to India due to better opportunities on home ground.”
The Minister also urged medical professionals in the Indian diaspora to participate in organizations such as the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin AAPI, and the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) to collectively work towards the betterment of healthcare in India.
At the session on diaspora philanthropy, Union Minister for Panchayati Raj and Development of North-Eastern Region, Mani Shankar Aiyar called upon delegates to re-establish linkages with communities for better development in India.
There are more elected women in India, then anywhere in the world, said Aiyar, signifying the improvement of the role of the Indian woman over the years and saying that it is a ” tribute to the ability of the country.”
Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development (Indepedent Charge) Renuka Chaudhary briefed about government schemes for empowering women with legal and financial support.
While expressing her concerns over the problems faced by women across the world, she said, “The Government was taking appropriate measures to address those issues. Among these schemes was the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs program for deserted women.”
Secretary, Ministry of Indian Overseas Affairs, K. Mohandas announced that the Government is planning to launch the India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF - OI) in a few weeks time.
“The objective of the foundation is to bridge overseas philanthropists with recognized Indian Organizations, enabling public private partnerships and accountability to the donor,” Mohandas said.
Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan said: “The concurrent session on Increased Interaction with Diaspora Women expressed concerns about maintaining values and traditions in a changing environment. Women have the desire to leverage their empowerment for gender equality in India.” The participants appreciated the Government of India for initiatives and interest in the development of women and for linking diaspora women and Indian women. (ANI)

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