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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday interacted with Indian Diaspora in the Philippines and urged the community to do everything possible to ensure that the 21st century, which is termed "Asia's century" becomes "India's century." "Our efforts are aimed at transforming India and ensuring everything in our nation matches global standards" he said. Talking about India's history of peace, he said that India has never harmed another country and also reminded the audience of the sacrifice of one and a half lakh Indian soldiers, who laid down their lives in distant lands during World Wars 1 and 2. "India has always contributed to world peace. Our contingent in the UN Peacekeeping Forces is among the biggest. India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi, peace is integral to our culture," he said. The prime minister also spoke of the emotional bonding and the long shared heritage that India has with the ASEAN region.
In particular, he mentioned the Buddha and the Ramayana. He said the Indian Diaspora in the region has a key role to play in nurturing this heritage. PM also said that the ASEAN region is very important for India. He further said that India has an "emotional bonding" with Southeast Asia. Lauding his policies in from of the audience, he said that the initiatives such as Jandhan Yojana and Ujjwala Yojana, taken by the Government are for empowering the poor. He also mentioned the gains made through Aadhaar linking of subsidy during his interaction. Narendra Modi arrived for a three-day visit in Manila on Sunday for attending ASEAN-India and the East Asia summits.