NRI Day: UAE Indian missions to engage more with students, labourers


NRI Day: UAE Indian missions to engage more with students, labourers

Indian ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Sigh Suri urged Indian expats to set a few hours aside for their community

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Wed 10 Jan 2018, 10:09 AM

Last updated: Wed 10 Jan 2018, 3:46 PM

On Tuesday evening as Indian missions across the world marked the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (NRI Day) - an annual day that marks the contribution of overseas persons with Indian origin (PIO) towards their homeland - hundreds of Indian expats from all over the UAE gathered at the Indian consulate in Bur Dubai for a celebratory get-together.
Making some important announcements on behalf of the Indian missions in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Consul General Vipul said the missions will be launching some new initiatives to step up their engagement with the community.
One of the initiatives the consulate is looking to launch in the next few weeks is to constitute some committees within the fold of the consulate that will play a purely advisory role and address specific issues related to labour, seafarers, education and culture. "We already have a pool of people who are always connected with us as volunteers. We now plan to have systematic way of having meetings with them so that they can bring to us some unresolved issues in a more systematic manner," CGI Vipul said.
"The second thing we are implementing from January 26 this year is starting an open house that will be held last Friday of every month wherein either I, as the consul general, or some of our senior officials could be present to look into their problems," he said.
The consulate does reach out to the Indian community in various manners and also has a kind of open forum where people just walk in with their issues. However, since this could only happen on working days, the consulate planned the Friday open house mainly targeting labourers and blue collar workers. 
"The third initiative as per the directives of the government of India is to increase our engagement with Indian university students here in the UAE. We already have a good engagement with Indian schools here but additionally we are now planning to have one particular day in a year (mostly in February) where we can have a representative section of Indian students studying in universities in the UAE and engage with them, organize cultural programmes with the youths, understand their issues and take them up with the Indian government," he added.
After a screening of a short film that portrayed the contribution and achievements of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India, excerpts from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's keynote speech to over 100 parliamentarians of Indian-origin at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi were also shown at the packed auditorium in the Indian Consulate.

Indian ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Sigh Suri, on his part, urged Indian expats to set a few hours aside for their community members and help in ways they best can. He highlighted how the healthy political relations between India and the UAE have positively affected the Indian community in the UAE.

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