Sanjay Jain (SJ) is the President of the Indian Cultural Association (ICA) in Lagos, Nigeria. He was born in India and has been residing in Nigeria for the last 30 years. Sanjay was honoured to be invited as a State guest for the PBD 2023.
In 2021, the Indian President conferred the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to ICA in recognition of their outstanding community service, promoting India’s honour and prestige, and fostering the interest of overseas Indians.
ITN: How has your experience been so far?
SJ: First of all, I would like to thank the government of India and Madhya Pradesh for such a great opportunity. I am happy that the government is making efforts to recognize the Indian diaspora and enable them to interact with Indians around the globe in such a conducive environment. I congratulate the Madhya Pradesh government for successfully organizing such a grand event.
ITN: What does Indian Cultural Association stands for?
SJ: The goal of the Indian Cultural Association is to organize various functions, shows, and other cultural, social and welfare programs to display the social and cultural image of India.
We aim to foster and strengthen friendship and goodwill between the people of India and Nigeria.
Our objective is to establish better contacts among the Indian Community in Nigeria and to promote and establish a lasting spirit of fellowship and mutual bond of good friendliness.
For its great efforts in promoting and spreading the Indian cultural ethos outside the country, our association received the revered Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award during the virtual celebration held in 2021.
ITN: Did you enjoy the dinner party that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan hosted on the eve of PBD?
SJ: I was overwhelmed with the opportunity to meet Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, at the dinner party on the eve of PBD. It was great to meet him. I could see the vibrancy in his personality.
ITN: What does PBD mean to you?
SJ: I am happy that the government of India is attaching such importance to a great event like this. I congratulate the Indian government for organizing a grand event like PBD that aims to unite and connect the Indian NRIs from across the globe.
ITN: Has the government’s efforts through PBD impacted the general perspective of the Indian diaspora?
SJ: I must say that this government has successfully tried to reconnect with the Indian diaspora more vibrantly and productively.
Every Indian knows that there is a Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and is looking forward to attending the programme. Such enthusiasm symbolizes that the Indian diaspora is getting a chance to reconnect with its roots.
ITN: Does the Indian diaspora view India as a potential investment market?
SJ: I would like to inform you that there is a massive difference in the perspective of Indians and foreigners on how they currently view India. The efforts put forward by this government have helped Indians gain due recognition all over the world. The Indian community in Nigeria has experienced this change.
India has become a favourite destination for foreign investment, which we have seen reflected in its foreign reserves and industrial growth. All the parameters, including a boom in the share market, indicate that India will be a leading economy in times to come.