Agra, Jan 4 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government rolled out a red carpet welcome to some 250-odd members of the Indian diaspora on Monday in the Taj city as the maiden ‘UP Pravasi Diwas’ took off to an impressive start.
Addressing the NRIs and PIOs, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the meet was a beginning of a never-ending dialogue between them and the state government and assured them of all help.
He said that the whole idea behind the UP Pravasi Diwas was to reconnect the diaspora with their roots in the state and work on a common and meaningful dialogue of development of the state. “I am overjoyed to see such large number of NRIs here and must admit that the gathering has exceeded my expectation,” he added.
Announcing that the event would now on will be an annual affair, Akhilesh Yadav said that only the venues will change and would rotate among the major cities of the state. “We are here not only to welcome you in the Taj city but also to make you partners as the state endeavours to get its rightful place in the country,” he added to a round of applause.
Earlier, Prisons Minister Balwant Singh Ramuwalia, who coordinated the NRI Diwas, heaped praise on Akhilesh Yadav, saying that it was for the first time that a chief minister of Uttar Pradesh had thought about the descendants of people who lived in the state many centuries ago.
Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan detailed on various infrastructure and development projects undertaken by the state government and said that the state was undergoing a never before turnaround.
Later 16 eminent people with roots in Uttar Pradesh and now living abroad were given the ‘UP Ratna’ awards by the chief minister and his wife, Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav, while 13 MoUs were also signed at the event. Also present during the event, among others, were members of Bollywood that included film directors Sudhir Mishra, Muzaffar Ali, veteran actor Sanjay Khan and Zayed Khan.
Over the next two days, the NRIs and state ministers and officials would interact and have a composite dialogue on how and in which sectors, investment can be explored, said Principal Secretary (NRI) Sanjeev Saran.