Even as 2020 has been the year of a global crisis caused by Covid-19, the pandemic gave India a new identity as the 'pharmacy of the world', President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday.

The fame was achieved as India supplied medicines to nearly 150 countries during the pandemic, said the President while addressing the valedictory session of the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention via video conferencing.

President Of India Visits Australia
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 22: India's President Ram Nath Kovind speaks at at the AFR India Business Summit on November 22, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. Indian President Ram Nath Kovind is on a three-day trip to Australia visiting Sydney and Melbourne, the first state visit by the Republic's leader. (Photo by Saeed Khan - Pool /Getty Images)Saeed Khan - Pool /Getty Images

"India has been at the forefront in forging a global response to combat the enormous challenges posed by the pandemic. We supplied medicines to nearly 150 countries, making the world look at India as the 'pharmacy of the world'," said the President.

Noting the recent success of Indian scientists and technicians in developing two Covid vaccines, Kovind said it is a major achievement for the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan which is driven by the spirit of global well-being.

Seeds of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat were sown many years ago

The President further said that the seeds of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat were sown many years ago by Mahatma Gandhi's call for 'Swadeshi' and self-reliance. "Our vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat has five key pillars of economy, infrastructure, demography, democracy and supply chains. Successful integration of all these factors will help achieve rapid growth and development."


The President said that the idea of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' does not mean seeking self-centered arrangements or turning the country inwards. "It is about self-belief leading to self-sufficiency. We intend to contribute towards mitigating disruptions in global supply chains by enhancing availability of goods and services. The Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan of India would make the world order more just and fairer, promoting greater cooperation and peace. Our diaspora has an important role in the realisation of India's global aspirations," said the President.

Speaking on the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention, the President said "our diaspora is our face to the world, and champions India's cause on the global stage. It has always come to India's aid, whether it is for advocacy regarding international issues of concern to India, or contributing to the Indian economy by way of investments and remittances."

The President said that on this very day in the year 1915, Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi Bharatiya, returned to India. "He gave a much wider base to our social reforms and freedom movement, and during the next three decades, he changed India in many fundamental ways," said the President.