Kochi: The three-day 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) kicked off here early Monday with a seminar on NRIs in the Gulf.
Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi inaugurated the session. Chief Minister Ommen Chandy, Union Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahmed, Minister Tiruvanjoor Radhakrishnan, K. Babu, K.C Joseph, M.K Raghavan M.P and Gulf-based Kerala businessman M.A yousuf Ali were among those addressed the inaugural session.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is arriving here Monday, will formally inaugurate the event on January 8 by releasing a stamp on the Gadar movement, a saga of courage, valour and determination of overseas Indians who had gone to Canada and the US either for higher education or for economic opportunities. They became trail blazers of the freedom struggle.
He will also release two publications of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.
Over 2,000 delegates from 44 countries are likely to participate in the meet which will commence with a Gulf session to discuss the issues being faced by Keralites in the Gulf region.
A host of Union Ministers led by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Kamalnath, Anand Sharma and Shashi Tharoor will address the sessions. Chief Ministers of six states will also attend.
The PBD oration on January 8 has also been dedicated to the 'Gadar Movement'.
President Pranab Mukherjee will address the valedictory function on January 9 and present Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards.
The theme of the conference is 'Engaging Diaspora: The Indian Growth Story'.