Bangkok, Jun 28: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday hailed the 13-month performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government on the domestic and foreign fronts saying a "change" has come about and now "the world listens when India speaks".
Addressing a gathering of the Indian diaspora here in Thailand's capital, where she arrived for a three-day visit to attend the 16th World Sanskrit Conference and to sign some bilateral agreements, Swaraj also urged them to turn their focus on their motherland and pay off their "maati ka karz".
The 16th World Sanskrit Conference begins on Sunday in which over 600 scholars from 60 countries will participate.
Acknowledging that there are lot of expectations from the government, which is first single-party majority government in the last 30 years, she claimed, "In last one year, India's image has been bolstered in foreign shores. When India's image is bolstered, the image of Indians living there also gets a boost. When India speaks today, the world listens to it. A change has come. The change is also visible in India".
Naming a number of schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, Make in India, Skill India, Namami Gange, Smart City plan and others including the new pension schemes, the External Affairs Minister said, "this was Prime Minister Modi's leadership" as she lauded the step of opening bank accounts with zero balance as a "big social inclusion" which happened because the Prime Minister wanted to do it.
Swaraj was speaking at a dinner hosted in her honour here where a free mobile application on Yoga was also launched.
She told people of Indian origin living in Thailand that the situation in India has changed under the Modi government and there are now ample opportunities for them to contribute to the development of India.
"I have come here to tell you to give some attention to India. Invest a part of what you are earning here in works like construction of a toilet in your village...Do a bit for your country from whatever capacity and strength you have acquired here," she said.
It is estimated that there are around 200,000 people of Indian origin in Thailand. Reaching out to them, she said that Indians can be taken out from India but India cannot be taken out from Indians anywhere.