The 4th South Asian Diaspora Convention (SADC) was hosted by ISAS (Institute of South Asian Studies) from 15th to 17th November 2019 in Singapore. The first day begun with a gala dinner on the 15th November, Friday at Hotel Shangri- La Singapore. Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and co-ordinating Minister for Social Policies, Singapore was the Guest of Honour for this.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed from Bangladesh and Mr J Y Pillay from Singapore were recognized for their contributions to society and public service at the gala dinner.
The second day of the convention took place at the University Cultural Center, NUS. Mr Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and the Co-ordinating Minister for National Security, Singapore was the Guest of Honor and he delivered the keynote address and the interactive session with him was moderated by Professor Wang Gungwu, University Professor, National University of Singapore.
Ambassador Gopinath Pillai in his opening remarks said that SADC provides ideal stage for South Asian Diaspora to build relationships and engage with the rest of Asia and other parts of the world. He also said that SADC contributes significantly to social development, education, technological assistance and poverty alleviation in the region. To further develop the relationship, SADC serves as the significant platform for South Asian Diaspora to come together with the leading policy makers, business leaders, academics and civil society leaders.
Mr Teo Chee Hean in his speech said that South Asia itself has emerged as one of the most dynamic regions in the world with tremendous growth potential.
Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, and second Minister for Finance and Education, delivered her keynote address in the plenary session ‘Women Empowerment in South Asia’.
Ms Indranee Rajah, in her speech said that, from the outset of Singapore’s independence since 1965, Singapore has taken a very definitive stand in regard to gender equality and on the status of women and to address these in Singapore’s laws and policies in relation to education, labor participation, women’s leadership and protection of women.
Mr Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance delivered a keynote address and participated in an interactive session on ‘Infrastructure and Smart Cities’.
On the 17th November 2019, ISAS CUP cricket tournament took place at the Singapore Indian Association. The three days convention came to an end with the ISAS in conversation with Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, the former Indian cricketers at Hotel Pan Pacific.