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Modi builds fest bridge for NRIs

Ahmedabad, Oct. 24: Three weeks after the Vibrant Gujarat Global summit, the Narendra Modi government is once again rolling out the red carpet for non-resident Gujaratis.

Some of those who have made a mark abroad will be felicitated by the state government at the Vishwa Gujarati Parivar Mahotsav that aims to strengthen the emotional and cultural links of non-resident Gujaratis with their homeland.

The state government, which claims to have bagged investment proposals worth more than Rs 66,000 crore after the summit, has announced that the three-day Mahotsav will begin on January 12, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. It also coincides with the international kite festival to be organised in Ahmedabad and Surat.

On January 13, a government spokesperson said, non-resident Gujaratis will be taken on a “modern pilgrimage” to places like the Sardar Sarovar Dam — the industrial gateway to Gujarat — the Jamnagar refinery of Reliance and several institutes, including Isro and IIM, Ahmedabad, to make them “feel the vibrancy” and also to point out the scopes for investment.

The government hopes the kite festival on January 14 will act as an “emotional bridge’’ between Gujarat and its diaspora.

During the Mahotsav, the chief minister intends to brief the non-resident Gujaratis on the state’s recent developments and achievements.

The timing of the festival is significant as it is being held alongside the Pravasi Bharatiya programme in Delhi, organised every year from January 9 to January 11 to mark the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa.

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