Preventing diabetes is of enormous value, particularly for the South Asian countries, which have a huge healthcare burden from the onslaught of the disease. Type 2 diabetes has been proved to be preventable using lifestyle changes, even in South Asians despite their heightened risk profile. Strategies to improve awareness about diabetes and translation of preventive measures by innovative, culturally specific programmes have to be implemented at national levels. Integrated involvement of the government, community, media, healthcare and education services, and financial support from national and international organizations, are required. South Asian countries have initiated national programmes for diabetes prevention and management. It is also encouraging to note that joint ventures between developed countries such as the USA, UK and other European countries and centres of excellence in South Asia have been initiated to develop large-scale, community-oriented, pragmatic intervention strategies.