New Delhi, BJP MP and noted actress Hema Malini will stage a special dance programme based on the theme ‘Ganga’ during this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) celebration at Varanasi, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd) V K Singh said here on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the mega annual event on the second day of the celebration on January 22, Gen Singh told reporters here. “Hema Malini will stage her special programme on the theme ‘Ganga’ at the ghats of river Ganga on the same day evening,” he said.
Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth will be the chief guest for this year’s celebration.The Minister said the main function hall at the venue has been named ‘Atal Bihari Sabhaghar’ as a mark of tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“There will be an exhibition on photographs and posters on the life and career of the former Prime Minister,” he said.
Gen Singh said the general exhibitions during the three-day event that will get underway at Varanasi on January 21 will highlight country’s ancient history as well as the achievements made in the contemporary setting.
“There will be exhibits portraying the history and achievements of India especially in the context of modernity,” the Minister said among others ISRO too will set up its pavilions.
The annual Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas – organised first in 2003 – is celebrated on January 9 every year.But this year the dates have been shifted to the third week of January as there were overwhelming demands from the overseas Indians to also take part in the Kumbh Mela of Prayagraj and also the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi on January 26.
The programme initiated by the erstwhile Vajpayee government aims to to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community and reconnect them with their roots and the government.
In this year’s celebrations, two prominent names of Indian origin Himanshu Gulati, a lawmaker from Parliament in Norway and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi will also take part in the seminars to be organsied during the three-day celebrations, Gen Singh said.
“There will be seven sessions of academic discussions on issues of importance,” he said.