SPEECH BY HER EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA SHRIMATI PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL AT THE ADDRESS TO THE LOCAL INDIAN COMMUNITY IN SEYCHELLES DURING HIGH COMMISSIONER'S RECEPTION
Seychelles , 29th April, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to meet all of you, a significant cross section of the Indian community residing in Seychelles, a country with immense natural beauty.
I understand that the Indian community here has a substantial presence and is deeply respected. Many of you are occupying important positions in Seychelles in various walks of life including in Government and politics; and in the health, education, construction, banking and finance sectors. You have contributed substantially to the development and prosperity of this country and also for the strengthening of the relationship between India and Seychelles. We are proud of your accomplishments and achievements. From the time the first batch of Indian immigrants came to the islands of Seychelles over the 200 odd years - settling here as among the earliest inhabitants, the Indian community of Seychelles has contributed to the development of this country, while providing strong human, social and cultural links with India.
I am glad that the Indian community here is well-integrated with others in this country, even as it has preserved our traditional cultural values and civilizational strengths through activities of various cultural and other associations. The variety and number of Indian associations you have set up here, reflect the Indian ethos which is eloquently expressed in "unity in diversity". All of you from different organizations, therefore, must work collectively as representatives of Indian culture and tradition in this beautiful country.
India has fascinated the rest of the world since times immemorial. The cultural ethos of our country has the capacity to stay deep rooted in the minds of its people, no matter where they live. It is the Indian way of life, multi-cultural but yet all-embracing, tolerant and harmonious living which is our heritage and strength. This has been augmented by the Indian thirst for knowledge, which has today found expression in our country being among the foremost in the knowledge revolution. India has emerged as an economically resilient nation largely due to the hard work of its people.
I believe that Indians living in different parts of the world have a deep affinity as they spring from the same source. The footprints of the Indian Diaspora are widespread and its presence felt in every continent. Overseas Indians numbering over 27 million dispersed all over the world are symbols of India in their adopted countries. Together, they constitute a formidable force, both in themselves as well as in having the potential to plough back their resources and acumen, to join as partners in the development and progress of India. The Government of India deeply cherishes its relationship with the Indian Diaspora. It is keenly interested in their well-being and also seeks to engage actively with them. Every year the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is held in India as a celebration of Indians living abroad, and I am happy that members of the Indian community from Seychelles have also participated. The Government and people of India recognize and greatly value the important role being played by Indian communities living abroad.
In conclusion, I once again take this opportunity to compliment the Indian community in Seychelles for having integrated themselves so well into the local milieu and for making significant contribution to the growth of the island nation. India deeply values its relationship with Seychelles, and this relationship could be nurtured and strengthened with the contributions of all of you in your respective fields. I have no doubt that all of you will continue your efforts in that direction.
My best wishes to all of you.