Kochi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday assured overseas Indians of all possible help and said they served as a bridge of friendship and cooperation between India and their adopted homes.
"We in the government will do all that is possible to deepen their connection with India and advance their interests. While honouring their achievements, we will also seek to facilitate their travel, business and education and make it easier for them to be a part of life in India, enjoy due rights and participate in India's economic development," said the prime minister in his inaugural address at the 11th Pravasi Baratiya Divas here.
"Regardless of whether they are successful professionals, traders and entrepreneurs, or second generation Indians, comfortably reconciling their two identities, or workers toiling hard to build a future for their families, they are at all times a most effective window for the world to India's heritage and its progress," he said.
Manmohan Singh assured them that during times of turbulence in many parts of the world, the safety and security of overseas Indian communities was uppermost on the government's mind.
"We derive comfort from the assurances that we have received from governments in the countries of your residence that they will do everything for your safety and security. We recognise that the primary responsibility rests with the host countries, but when needed, as was the case last year in Libya, our government will provide prompt and necessary assistance," he said.
Manmohan Singh pointed out that the government had launched an insurance scheme for workers abroad, established welfare funds in embassies for distressed Indians and created mechanisms to help vulnerable women abroad.
"This protection and promotion of the rights and interests of Indian businesses, professionals and workers abroad is also a key task for our missions in various countries. Our Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements and Social Security Agreements with a number of countries play an important role in this regard," he said.
The prime minister also released a special postage stamp to celebrate the centenary of the Gadar Movement.
President of Mauritius Rajkeswur Purryag was the chief guest of the event.