Friends of Madhya Pradesh, including Indian-Americans, gather to network for state’s development

Indian-Americans attending the Friends of Madhya Pradesh Conclave Jan. 3-4, in Indore, presented a large model of the Statue of Liberty to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Seen in photo: Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan holding the statue, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh to his left, and Dr. Sudha Parikh, second from right. (Photo courtesy Friends of MP)

Hundreds of delegates including non-resident Indians and Indian-Americans gathered in Indore, to celebrate at the Friends of Madhya Pradesh Conclave Jan. 3-4. The event was addressed by the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary among other top officials and experts.

The Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, who addressed attendees, and posted his thoughts from the Conclave, on Twitter, noted his state’s growth and economic development –

Madhya Pradesh is not considered as the BIMARU state now, the state is maintaining 10% average growth from last 10 years with over 20% growth in agriculture, the highest in India.

– CM @ChouhanShivraj — #FriendsofMPConclave2018

More than 700 people attended the Conclave over the two days, according to one estimate.

Desi Talk publisher Dr. Sudhir Parikh, recipient of India’s Padma Shri award, and other Indian-Americans, were called upon to speak at the event, and dwelt on the need to channel talents from the diaspora to help the state develop. The NRIs presented a large Statue of Liberty model to the Chief Minister to appreciate and recognize the achievements of the state.

Parikh was among those who participated with Chouhan and the Mayor of Indore Malini Laxmansingh Gaur, in lighting the auspicious traditional lamp at the event. Parikh praised the Chief Minister for “maintaining such rigorous standards of impeccable growth,” in the state and praised programs like the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana to provide electrical connections to about 45 lakh families.

A newspaper article with a photo of the lamp-lighting ceremony held at the Friends of Madhya Pradesh Conclave Jan. 3-4, in Indore. Seen in photo are among others, Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, second from right, Padmashri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of News India Times, center, Mayor of Indore Malini Laxmansingh Gaur, second from left, and Dr. Sudha Parikh, left.

At a panel on ‘The Role of Friends of MP in Development of Madhya Pradesh’ Chief Secretary B.P. Singh focused on “Growth of MP in last decade,” where he noted a rise in every measurable sector in the state. He also said the ‘Friends of MP’ website would be converted into a portal to facilitate exchange of ideas, and to enable people of Madhya Pradesh residing abroad to redress matters related to their relatives, reported. Other top state government officials who spoke at the event noted they had received positive feedback from abroad and expected those in the diaspora to act as ambassadors of Madhya Pradesh.

Dr. Parikh, as well as other NRIs, like Jitendra Muchhal, Ashish Pandya, Sunil Nayak, and Ashish Jain, gave important suggestions, emphasizing their willingness to extend cooperation and the need to make time-bound programs for reaching objectives, the Central Chronicle reported; They also said development should reach the weakest sections of society.

In his speech during the Conclave, Dr. Parikh, recommended increasing the number of Special Economic Zones in the state, focusing on the agrarian economy, building small scale industries in rural areas, publicizing the diamond and copper industries, encouraging youth and women to become entrepreneurs, and strengthening education by cooperating with higher education institutions in the U.S.

“I think Madhya Pradesh, with its central location, bordering states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, and excellent highways and train network, would be an ideal center for large manufacturing bases. It can be the premier IT hub in central India,” Parikh said. As a physician, he also drew attention to  his idea of developing a health biometrics system with vital statistics of the population to improve health care delivery throughout the state.

During the Conclave, one-to-one discussions were held between guests and government  representatives of different departments. “Members expressed their desire in rendering support for growth of MP in different areas including Skill Development, Education. Guests of the event also showed keen interest in working for well-being in areas like solar & sustainable energy, promotion of tourism, Ayurveda & entrepreneurship, ways in which the state could contribute in bringing down global warming etc.,” the website said.

Friends of MP, which has a dedicated website by the same name, says it is driven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of setting up a global talent pool for each state, comprising of a network of individuals and organizations whose skills can be utilized for developing various states. The web portal is expected to work as a ‘matchmaker’ between the ‘Friends’ and the Madhya Pradesh government.




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