Rahul Gandhi to meet Indian workers, professionals during UAE visit
Dubai - Gandhi is also expected to visit a labour accommodation to interact with the workers' community.
By Dhanusha Gokulan
Published: Tue 8 Jan 2019, 10:00 PM
Last updated: Thu 10 Jan 2019, 8:14 AM
Issues faced by non-resident Indians (NRIs) will be a crucial topic of discussion during India's opposition party leader Rahul Gandhi's maiden visit to the UAE on January 11-12. The president of the Indian National Congress will then present these problems in the Indian parliament later, according to party leaders.
"The context of the meeting is not political, it is our way of reaching out to the Indian diaspora," said Himanshu Vyas, secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).
Vyas told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of a Press meet on Tuesday that a "team of researchers" has looked into the various issues faces by NRIs in the UAE. Problems range from the high costs of mortal remains repatriation to workers' issues and challenges faced by destitute Indians.
"A dossier will be presented to Rahul Gandhi and these will be discussed in the parliament," said Vyas.
Officials from the committee said Gandhi would be the "official chief guest" at the 'Indo-Arab cultural programme' at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on January 11. The programme would celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Organisers said close to 11,000 residents from across the UAE have already registered on the website, www.rginuae.com, to attend the event. Several others have registered with the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC).
Over 1,000 buses have been arranged to transport attendees of the event to the venue. Food, water and other refreshments will be provided as well. The organisers added that close to 70 folk artists from various states across India would be performing before Gandhi's speech to the public.
This is the only event where Gandhi would address the general public. It is slated to take place from 4pm to 8pm, with doors opening at 2:00pm.
Gandhi is also expected to visit a labour accommodation to interact with the workers' community. He will also speak to students and address the business community. The leader is also set to meet some UAE ministers.
Gandhi had addressed such public gatherings in the US, London, Germany and Bahrain previously.
Vyas said the UAE and India share the same ethos. "The path of tolerance began in India as Mahatma Gandhi fought against colonialism. He preached non-violence and non-cooperation, and these were the two main arms against the British colonial rule."
Sam Pitroda, president of the Indian Overseas Congress, will also be present during Gandhi's two-day visit.
Rahul Gandhi's tentative itinerary
-Meeting with workers community at a Dubai labour accommodation
-A private meeting with members of Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC)
-Meeting with university students
-Public meeting with Indian diaspora at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium
-Travel to Abu Dhabi
-Meeting with UAE ministers
-Private meeting with Indian Business Professional Group (IBPG)
-Visit to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque