Currently on tour in the Caribbean, the Consular Minister of the Indian Embassy in Paris is strengthening ties with the diaspora. The Indian community of Guadeloupe, for its part, is asking for easier exchanges, especially with regard to travel to the country of origin.
The visit to Guadeloupe by the Consular Minister of the Indian Embassy in Paris lasted a little less than two days. Shrila Datta Kumar arrived at the archipelago on Sunday, May 8, 2022, accompanied by her first secretary, Sucheta Chaterjee.
Both came to meet the local Indian community. They were invited by the leaders of the associative world this morning at the Guadeloupe Center for Indian Culture in the Petit-Canal.
As a representative of an Indian cultural association, it was important for me to meet the Minister and ask her a few questions, in particular on this issue of recognition of persons of Indian origin from Guadeloupe, in order to find a small connection with IndiaRaïssa Nagapin, president of the association “Om Shanti”.
The Indian community in Guadeloupe also wanted to demonstrate its connection to the country of origin:
The Minister has realized that there is a development in Guadeloupe in terms of Indian culture, and she is aware of that.Eliezer Sitcharn, President of Friends of India
Consular Minister of the Indian Embassy in Paris, Shrila Datta Kumar, visits Guadeloupe – 09/05/2022.
This moment was also an opportunity to discuss and address issues of concern to Guadeloupes from India, starting with the conditions for obtaining OCI (Overseas Citizen of India (Visa Card), formerly PIO (People of Indian Origin).
Raïssa Nagapin, president of the association “Om Shanti”.
Overseas Indian nationals can get this OCI document for India, valid for 10 years or until the passport expires. This multi-entry visa allows the holder to travel to India without limitation in terms of number of trips and duration.
The time required to get this card is long and the procedure is complicated.
Previously, applicants with PIO had to prove that they belonged to the Indian community over 8 generations. This condition is now alleviated, with the establishment of OCI, but you still have to prove that you have Indian origin over 4 generations.
However, this type of information is difficult to obtain from local administrations or departmental archives.
Shrila Datta Kumar is not authorized to speak in the press.
But she was very aware of the complaints from her interlocutors, aware of the existing problems between France and India.
According to Rajaram Munuswamy, President of GOPIO France and Secretary General of GOPIO International (World Organization of People of Indian Origin), the time has come to raise this type of problem:
I think India is looking for its children right now. Since the arrival of Narendra Modi in power, in government, we have been trying to connect with the Indian diaspora all over the world. It is within the framework of these steps that it is the right time to connect this enthusiasm for India towards its children and the enthusiasm of Indian nationals towards India. . It will happen naturally.Rajaram Munuswamy, President of GOPIO France and Secretary General of GOPIO International
Rajaram Munuswamy, President of GOPIO France and Secretary General of GOPIO International
The Consular Minister, whose title does not correspond to the one understood in France, therefore took note of the requests and announced that she intended to send them up to her hierarchy, namely to the Indian Ambassador to Paris.
In addition, an official meeting was arranged in the afternoon between Shrila Datta Kumar and the regional prefect, Alexandre Rochatte.
Another highlight of her weekend program: the consular minister of the Indian embassy in Paris commemorates on the sister island the arrival of the first Indians to Martinique, which dates back to May 6, 1853.