Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for 30

President honours people of Indian origin for their service to India

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for 30
Indian-origin Portugal Prime Minister Antonio da Costa and Indian-born US diplomat Nisha Desai Biswal were among the 30 who were honoured with the Pravasi  Bharatiya Samman Award-2017 by President Pranab Mukherjee here on Monday.

The award is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians. It is awarded to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) or organisations run by NRIs and PIOs, in recognition of their service to India, socially or economically.

The 54-year-old Costa traces his roots to Goa where his father spent most of his youth, then under the Portuguese rule. The 48-year-old Nisha from Gujarat emigrated to the United States of America from India with her parents. She was nominated as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs in the United States Department of State by the US President Barack Obama in July 2013.

Of the awardees, six are from the US, two each from Britain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and one each from 27 other countries the world over. Two organisations – Antwerp Indian Association in Belgium and Singapore Indian Association in Singapore have been honoured with the award for community service.
Two from Karnataka, Dr Gorur Krishna Harinath from Gorur in Hassan district and Dr Sampatkumar Sidaramappa Shivangi, from Athani in Belagavi were awarded for community service.

“It feels wonderful that the Indian government connects with the Indian diaspora. India and the USA have the shared values on various aspects and are strengthening their ties. Measures like Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and giving away Pravasi Bharatiya Samman strengthen the bond between India and its citizens living abroad,” Nisha said after receiving the award.

Winston Chandarbhan Dookeran (72) has been awarded for his contribution to the field of public service. Born in Jaipur, he moved to Trinidad and Tobago long ago.  He was earlier the finance minister of Trinidad and Tobago. He played an important role in promoting and advocating relationships between India and Trinidad and Tobago.

Bharat Haridas Barai who went for medical internship to the US, now leads a cancer centre there. He was awarded for community service. “I started as an intern. Today my signature is there on the doctors’ certificates. I serve as the medical licensing board secretary,” he said.
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