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January 9th: Non-Resident Indian Day in India – Significance

Non-Resident Indian Day is also known as Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas. It is a commemoration of the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India. 

There are several Indians staying overseas for different purposes like a job, for studies, etc. Even though they are staying out of the country, they are still Indians. Such people are known as Non-Resident Indians or NRI’s. They are the overseas Indian community who contribute to the development of the country. To honour this community, January 9th is observed as Non-Resident Indian Day or Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas.

History and Significance

Non-Resident Indian Day is observed on 9th January from 2003. Up till 2015, it was celebrated every year and after that, it has been celebrated once in two years. This date has important significance as it was the day when the Father of the Nation returned to India from South Africa. On 9th January 1915, Mahatma Gandhi returned to Mumbai. As it is well known, Mahatma Gandhi became the greatest ‘Pravasi’ who led the freedom struggle. He went on to be considered as the symbol of development and change.

January 9th: Non-Resident Indian Day in India - Digpu
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In 2003, this day was celebrated for the first time. The major focus of this day is to reconnect the Indians living abroad with their roots. It is also a day when the NRI’s can put up their thoughts regarding the development and improvement of the country. It is also taken as an opportunity for the Indian Labourers working abroad to raise their concerns. 


Each year of celebration is held at a different city in India. The celebrations generally take place from 7th to 9th Jan. Various events are held to recognize the NRI’s where a forum for issues concerning the Indian Diaspora is organized. Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is a special award given to people who have made a significant contribution in building India’s ties overseas.

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