|Indo-Trinis told to reconnect with India |
RICHARDSON DHALAI Sunday, March 19 2017
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the abolition of indentureship, India’s Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs & Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Dyaneshwar Mulay has advised people of Indian origin to reconnect with their ancestral country.
Mulay was speaking to reporters prior to the opening ceremony of the Indian Diaspora World Convention 2017 at the Divali Nagar, Chaguanas yesterday.
He said the convention was “very significant” as it provided an opportunity to “think of the global Indian community” and how far it had come and the direction in which it was headed.
“It’s important to know because sometimes it gives us this opportunity to take stock of what we have done so far and where we are headed,” he said, adding, “while our 30 million overseas Indians are doing well wherever they are, time has come to see how we can connect them while maintaining their lives in the country of their stay, their host country.” He continued: “How can we connect them better with India, not only on the emotional plane but also in trade, investment, technology, education, health services.” Mulay said the relationship between the overseas diaspora and the homeland would be beneficial to both parties saying the Indian government had taken a number of steps including the introduction of an Overseas Citizenship of India card and the Know India programme.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India website, a registered Overseas Citizen of India is “granted multiple entry, multi-purpose, lifelong visa for visiting India.” The card also entitles them to general parity with non-resident Indians in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial and educational fields except in matters relating to the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
“So I think it is important that the community here pro-actively participate in developing these contacts, they should not be passive, there is no reason for them to be passive, intellectual activity should be spurred but it has to be done jointly,” he said.
Conference chairman Dr Primnath Gooptar said the event would “bring to the fore some of the burning issues” which confront diaspora communities and that new directions and initiatives would be created.