The Indian-origin Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa, 54, will be the chief guest at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention. The PBD Convention is scheduled to be held from January 7 to 9, 2017 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Mr. Costa will participate in the inaugural session of the PBD Convention on January 8 and address the delegates.

Announcing this, External Affairs Ministry said the Portuguese Prime Minister has accepted an invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will participate in the inaugural session of the PBD Convention on January 8 and address the delegates.

Atonio Costa was born in Lisbon, capital city of Portugal. However, he traces his paternal roots to Goa. He is son of Orlando Costa, an accomplished poet and writer and has several relatives at Margao in Goa. His grandfather, Luis Afonso Maria da Costa hailed from Goa.

After Portugal’s 2015 general election, Atonio Costa, a lawyer by profession was appointed as Prime Minister after he had put together a coalition of left parties that is currently in power in Portugal. In 2004, he was elected as one of the 14 Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament and also had served on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. He was also the Mayor of Lisbon City from 2007 to 2015.

The PBD is celebrated annually on January 9 to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India. Interestingly, January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa. Thus, this event marks the importance of arrival of India’s greatest Pravasi who led India’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever. The conventions, celebrated every year since 2003, PBD provides a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities.

Besides, Surinam Vice president Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin will be the Special Guest at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) to be held in Bengaluru on January 7, 2017.

by Ashwani Srivastava

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