Mumbai, Sept.8 : Thirty-three foreign youths of Indian origin today embarked on a three week journey to see and understand the development and achievements of India and also come close to the land of their ancestors.
These diaspora youth in the age group of 18-26 years are drawn from ten countries and constitute students and professionals. hey have come to India under the Know India Programme (KIP) of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.
A maximum of 12 participants have come from South Africa, followed by 6 from Israel.
All expenditure except a one-way fare is borne by the government. After arriving in Mumbai, these youths started off for Gujarat on the first leg of their India tour.
In Gujarat, the group will spend eight days. They are scheduled to visit the diamond industry in Surat, remains of the Indus Valley civilisation, the Amul cooperative in Anand, Kandla Port and IIM, Ahmedabad.
The group will then move to Uttar Pradesh and spend nine days there. They will visit the historic cities of Agra, Allahabad, Luknow and Varanasi, besides taking a look at the modern city of NOIDA.
Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh are the two partner states for the programme this year.
The youth will interact with Indian youths, women organizations and will visit Gram Panchayats. They will also visit various prominent places and institutions in Delhi before leaving for their homes.
While in the capital, these youths will have an interaction with President Pratibha Devisingh Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan. They will also meet the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi.
The three-week internship programme is designed to promote awareness about India, its socio-cultural diversities, its emergence as an economic powerhouse, a centre of higher education and the ongoing developments in the infrastructure, technology and other sectors.
It also enables the visiting youth to share their experience, expectations and views and to bond closely with contemporary India.
The 'Know India Programme' (KIP), is implemented in partnership with a State Government and the logistics support of the Nehru Yuvak Kendra and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The last KIP was held from December 26, 2007 to January 18, 2008 in partnership with the State of Tamil Nadu.
KIP is among a whole range of efforts by the MOIA to forge close linkages between India and its overseas community.