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Make Your Voice Heard

Make Your Voice Heard

November 23, 2010

NRIs everywhere, take note: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is coming, and it could be your opportunity to shine.

As an NRI, what about India matters to you?

Perhaps you are culturally inclined, and seek to promote Indian arts and beliefs in your home and community.

Perhaps you are concerned about the laws pertaining to NRIs, and keep tabs on your status in India by following NRI-related legislation put in place by the Indian government.

Perhaps your interest lies in business, and to maintain an association with the motherland by looking out for investment opportunities in India.

The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas forum, next held on January 7-9 2011, is an annual event focused on these issues and others faced by NRIs worldwide. Held in Delhi and organised by the Indian government, it brings over 1500 NRIs of merit and distinction together to felicitate high achievers and, more importantly, to discuss NRI concerns and present an agenda for the changes they would like the politicians to make. This is a prestigious event, but through a competition called NRI Power Podium, three so-called ‘average’ NRIs will have the opportunity to take part.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is attended by both the President and Prime Minister of India, and is overseen by the Minister for Overseas Affairs. However, awareness of the event remains low, and those who know about it tend to see it as something beyond their means. This is where NRI Power Podium comes in. The competition, run by the non-profit organisation NRImatters, offers three applicants a chance to rub shoulders with the elite and discuss the issues that matter to them.

Karam Chimnani of NRImatters says that Pravasi Bharatiya Divas provided a perfect opportunity to showcase his organisation’s purpose. “The average NRI often faces the same issues as the more affluent NRI, but has fewer places to turn to for advice.” To fill the gap, 30 expert volunteers were brought together under the NRImatters banner to field queries from the Indian diaspora. “NRImatters offers a support network for all NRIs, regardless of status.”

NRI Power Podium is the centrepiece of that effort. Successful applicants will be official delegates at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in January, with travel expenses and 5-star hotel accommodation covered. Apart from the appeal of winning and interacting with Indian leaders, the competition is in itself a forum for NRIs to share their ideas about culture, law and investment. “NRI Power Podium is the perfect place for an NRI to make their voice heard,” says Chimnani.

To enter, all you have to do is go to the NRI Power Podium website and fill in an application form, selecting culture, legal or investment as your area of specialty (though you can choose to apply in all three categories if you wish). You can round out your application with photos and video if you wish. Once that’s complete, get as many people as you can to endorse you. You’ll have to be quick, though: the last day for applications is 7 December, and the earlier you get in, the more endorsements you can rack up.

To improve your chances of success, apart from a well-considered application, Chimnani recommends promoting your effort through as many sources as possible – blogging, Facebook, Twitter and so on – as the final shortlist will be decided based on both quality of application and quantity of endorsements.

In short, whether your interests lie in matters of culture, law or investment, NRI Power Podium could be your ticket to Delhi and a high-flying weekend of issues and solutions at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Already feeling inspired? Click here to start the application process.

1 Comment

  • Pallavi Chhibber
    Pallavi Chhibber
    23.11.10 04:21 PM
    Hey, that is a great post. Very informative. And it is a great initiative for NRIs to voice their opinions and bring about a change to India. I am glad you are covering such events and adding value to the Indian community abroad! Great work!

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