The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award given by the Indian Government to Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand was an honour bestowed to New Zealand and all New Zealanders, a senior businessman said.
India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) Chair Wenceslaus Anthony said the Award meant recognition of the Indian Diaspora worldwide in general and New Zealand in particular.
“Sir Anand joined two other distinguished persons of Indian origin to receive the award (Former Dunedin Mayor Sukhi Turner and Manukau District Court Judge Dr Ajit Singh were the previous recipients, respectively in 2004 and 2008).
“INZBC is supportive of all links between India and New Zealand,” he said.
India’s President Pratibha Patil presented the Award to Sir Anand and 14 others at the concluding session of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2011 in Delhi on January 9 (see related reports in this issue).
Mr Anthony said the event was of global standing and that INZBC was honoured to receive a mention in Sir Anand’s address as the Chief Guest at PBD 2011.
“It seems to me essential that we support organisations such as the India-New Zealand Business Council and the Asia New Zealand Foundation to harness and focus the Diaspora’s energy,” Sir Anand had said.
Mr Anthony described the growth of INBC last year as ‘spectacular.’
“Our membership comes from a very wide base serving no particular ethnic group and is entirely secular,” he said.