New Delhi, Jan 8 Young overseas Indians should come to India to discover opportunities and meet the challenges of a complex and chaotic land, the prime minister's advisor on education and innovation Sam Pitroda said on Saturday.
"There are lots of opportunities for (the) young to come to India in different ways," Pitroda told a session on the second day of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here.
He said the second generation of Indians, born and brought up abroad, was very different from their parents. "They have great education and opportunity but they are still searching for a cause."
The technology evangelist said he knew of "many examples of kids from the US coming here and finding themselves".
He cited his own daughter who came to India for five days to attend a wedding, but stayed on for two years.
"She told me that if you saw where I was staying, then you will take me back. But, staying in a small dingy room, eating jalebis from the street, making friends with the rickshaw-wallah - where else can you do such things," asked Pitroda.
He pointed out that India had key challenges of disparity and demography, which could be the way to engage with the young Indian diaspora to get them involved with their mother country.
He also gave an example of a second generation Indian-American girl who worked in Kalahandi in Orissa and wanted Pitroda's help to convince her father to let her extend her stay in India.
"India is tough... But, it's the very complexity, conflict, confession, chaos that I find very attractive," he said.
The deputy speaker of Singapore's parliament, Indranee Rajah, echoed the view during her interaction with the young from abroad, most of who had an overwhelming need to find answers to some questions.
"Who am I? Who are my people? Which group do I belong to? It is when they look to India that they find the answers," said Rajah.
She noted that young people want to do something which makes a difference.
Referring to India's huge challenges in health and education, Rajah said that perversely these could be assets for engaging with the overseas young Indian as "this is potentially something young people can help solve".
She urged technology, sports, films and spirituality as some of the sectors to be leveraged for the engagement.
Canadian MP Ruby Dhalla said there should be opportunities to allow for adoption of schools and classrooms by overseas Indian.
She also proposed the creation of a new forum of young Indian leaders from across the globe.
About 1,500 delegates are participating in the ninth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas which began Friday.
The estimated population of the Indian diaspora is 25 million, with significant pockets in the Gulf, Southeast Asia and the US.