The Indian Government honoured National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi with its prestigious ‘Pravasi Samman Award,’ at the end of the 13th Annual ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ held in Gandhinagar, the Capital of Gujarat on January 9, 2015.
Fourteen other People of Indian Origin (PIO) were also honoured at the Valedictory Ceremony of the three-day Conference which brought about 4000 delegates representing the Indian Diaspora worldwide.
Fifth New Zealander
Mr Bakshi was the fifth New Zealander to receive this honour. Among his predecessors are former Dunedin Mayor Sukhi Turner (2004), Auckland High Court Judge Dr Ajit Swaran Singh (2008), former Governor General and current Commonwealth Foundation Chairman Sir Anand Satyanand (2011) and Auckland based community leader Dr Satendra Singh (2013). Since its inception of the Award in 2003, India has honoured 136 PIO from various parts of the world.
“It is a great honour to receive the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award. In accepting this Award, I would like to acknowledge the contribution of all New Zealanders of Indian origin to Kiwi culture, communities, and the economy,” Mr Bakshi said.
India’s Vice-President Hamid Ansari presented the Awards.
“India today is on the cusp of change, in the process of actualising the expectations of its vast population for a better life. India aspires for a better place in the comity of nations. In this endeavour, an important role can and must be played by Overseas Indians,” he said.
Following is the full list of recipients of the Pravasi Samman Award 2015:
Ashraf Palarkunnummal (UAE); Bharatkumar Jayantilal Shah (UAE); Donald Rabindernauth Ramaotar (Guyana President); Duraikannu Karunakaran (Seychelles); Essop Goolam Pahad (South Africa); Kamlesh Lulla Dr (USA); Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (New Zealand); Mahendra Nanji Mehta (Uganda); Mala Mehta (Australia); Nandini Tandon Dr (USA); Professor Nathu Ram Puri (UK); Raj Lumba Lord (UK); Rajaram Sanjaya Dr (Mexico); Rajmal Parakh (Oman); Satyanarayn Nadella (USA).
India’s Vice-President Dr Hamid Ansari presenting the Pravasi Samman Award to Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, watched among others by External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.