Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s unique and dynamic Pravasi Diwas meet, an attempt to engage with the non-resident Indians of Uttar Pradesh in the development of the state, touched an emotional chord with the 200 non-resident Indians gathered in Agra on the first day of the meet itself. The Chief Minister called on the guests to reconnect with their homeland and reiterated that the primary aim of the event was forging a deep bond. He also urged the visiting delegates to show support to make Uttar Pradesh one of the leading states of the country.
Yielding to the warm welcome offered by the U.P. government, the first day of the meet saw 13 delegates signing MoUs with the government. The Chief Minister promised the NRI industrialists that his government was dedicated to the development of the state and would help anyone who wished to open a business and make investments in the state. “We have overwhelming support from our citizens living abroad for this event, which will from now on become an annual feature. The venue might change, but it will be organised every year,” Yadav said. Yousuf Ali, a businessman from Kerala who is managing director of an Abu Dhabi-headquartered group of companies, announced that his group would invest Rs 1,000 crore in the state for opening a hotel and a retail chain which could offer employment to about 3,000 people, if he received land and other necessary approvals from the government in a time-bound manner. The Chief Minister said in response that he hoped many more such proposals would be made during the event. The state government entered into an MoU with Ashook Ramsaran, president of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), for forming a forum of NRIs from U.P. The forum will enable the NRI community to stay connected throughout the world and collaborate with eachother. Rajesh Chandra of South Pacific University also signed an MoU for sharing of information, telecommunication and technology. MoUs were signed with the Canada-based Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Sharjah-based Indian Trade Exhibition Centre, Dubai’s Indian Business Council, Nadeem Akther’s Education Society, India Association of Japan, North America’s UP Association, WTC Noida Development Company, HDFC and ICICI banks, among others.