PBD failed to address many pending issues, feel delegates

PBD failed to address many pending issues, feel delegates

Even as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas served as a platform for raising several issues, a few delegates felt that the event did not address several long pending concerns.

While a few said the issues that concerned their everyday lives were not raised during any of the sessions or offline meetings, the others said there were no specific solutions to issues discussed earlier.

A delegate, Khan from Saudi Arabia, said that they had sought solutions to improve the student exchange programme. “There was only a passing mention about this. We were not told in particular how our children would benefit from this.”

Others from the association also pointed out that the fee disparity for NRI students was not addressed. Prior to the event, at a discussion, NRIs had also asked the ministry of human resource development to ensure that the involvement of agents in the education sector be minimised. “As a student, it was of interest for me. The other issues raised at the meeting were addressed. I wanted more clarity on what the government would do to ensure students do not fall prey to middlemen,” added a student from Mauritius, who did not wish to be named.

He added that representations have been given several times in the past to ensure colleges don’t charge NRIs high fees. Yet, this was not assured. “We are Indians by origin. Why do our children have to face discrimination?” he questioned.

Delegates from the Gulf also said that the Indian community in Gulf countries had to face hurdles during last rites of Indians in these countries since they have to obtain several permissions.

K K Usman, a member of a socio-cultural organisation associated with the Indian Embassy, felt that the event ignored the challenges that NRIs had faced due to demonetisation. “We thought they would give us some compensation,” he said.

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