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Diaspora Matters

Diaspora Engagement-Lessons from India

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We have been reviewing the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) looking for many areas such as the Small to Medium Enterprise Enterprises (SMEs)as well as the Diaspora issues. Iam happy that there is coverage of the SME sector, disappointed to some extent by the ommission of the Diaspora. There is no Diaspora acknowledgement as an important sector that contributes to the economic development of the country. Perhaps this is an oversight that would be redressed in future government policies.

Today we wanted to highlight success stories from India where there is a Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. The vision of the Ministry is detailed below:

‘India’s engagement with its diaspora is symbiotic, the strands of both sides of the relationship are equally important to create a resilient and robust bond. To engage with the diaspora in a sustainable and mutually rewarding manner across the economic, social and cultural space is at the heart of the policy of the Ministry. To create conditions, partnerships and institutions that will best enable India to connect with its diaspora comprehensively is central to all our programs and activities. As a new India seeks to become a global player of significance, the time has come for a strong and sustained engagement between India and overseas Indians. The time has also come for overseas Indians to benefit from the exciting opportunities that India provides.’ Government of India, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

How did they come up with the above mentioned vision? We can look at the Report to the Prime Minister of  India below:

The Diaspora is very special to India. Residing in distant lands, its members have succeeded spectacularly in their chosen professions by dint of their single-minded dedication and hard work. What is more, they have retained their emotional, cultural and spiritual links with the country of their origin. This strikes a reciprocal chord in the hearts of people of India. It is to nurture this symbiotic relationship to mutual advantage that the Government of India, following the express directions of the Prime Minister, had established a High Level Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. L.M Singhvi, MP, with the mandate to make an in-depth study of the problems and difficulties, the hopes and expectations of the overseas Indian communities. Given the great diversity and global spread of the Indian Diaspora, it was a mammoth task. The Committee completed it within the timeframe set for it, with the active cooperation of NRIs and PIOs and submitted the Report to the Prime Minister on 8th January, 2002.

  The Diaspora is very special to India. Residing in distant lands, its members have succeeded spectacularly in their chosen professions by dint of their single-minded dedication and hard work. What is more, they have retained their emotional, cultural and spiritual links with the country of their origin. This strikes a reciprocal chord in the hearts of people of India. It is to nurture this symbiotic relationship to mutual advantage that the Government of India, following the express directions of the Prime Minister, had established a High Level Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. L.M Singhvi, MP, with the mandate to make an in-depth study of the problems and difficulties, the hopes and expectations of the overseas Indian communities. Given the great diversity and global spread of the Indian Diaspora, it was a mammoth task. The Committee completed it within the timeframe set for it, with the active cooperation of NRIs and PIOs and submitted the Report to the Prime Minister on 8th January, 2002.

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