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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, 9 January 2019

On 9 January 2019, the Embassy of India in Tel Aviv celebrated the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in the Embassy premises. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Pavan Kapoor called diaspora outreach an important component of India’s foreign policy objectives. While urging the community to make use of government initiatives/facilities like PBK, KIP and OCI to maintain their links with India, he also briefed them on the special initiative of the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention 2019 and encouraged them to participate. He also highlighted the strengthening bilateral relationship between the two countries and appreciated the community’s role as a bridge between the two nations.

During the function, Ambassador Kapoor presented letters of appreciation from Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs to Ms. Sophia and Mr. Shmuel, local artists who had recorded the video and audio of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn “Vaishnava Jana To” as commissioned by the Embassy of India, to launch the year-long celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary. The appreciation letter conveyed that their performance was greatly appreciated by all Indians and the international community; it has added to the celebrations on the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and helped in consolidating the friendly ties between India and Israel. Sophia and Shmuel sang the song live at the event with the video playing in the background.

Select members of the Indian community spoke about their experiences and contributions towards strengthening the Indian community in Israel and enhancing links between the two countries. Mr Roger Judah shared his experience on working towards the construction of Gandhi square in Kiryat Gat, while Ms. Zipora Meir spoke on the efforts of the Indian community in Israel who reached out to the people of Kerala at the time of floods in 2018. Their efforts were greatly appreciated by the government of Kerala and the local communities. Mr. Isaac Thangjom spoke about the research work he is undertaking on the Bene Menashe community from Manipur and Mizoram.

The event was followed by light refreshments, along with discussions on various issues affecting the Indian community in Israel. The event was attended by people from the Indian community and Embassy Officials. 

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